'Shady' porn site practices pose cyber risks

Friday - 6/11/2010, 8:30am EDT

Cybersecurity Update - Tune in weekdays at 30 minutes past the hour for the latest cybersecurity news on The Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Amy Morris (6-10 a.m.) and The DorobekInsider with Chris Dorobek (3-7 p.m.). Listen live at FederalNewsRadio.com or on the radio at 1500 and 820 AM in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

  • It's been estimated that the Internet porn industry makes more money than Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo!, and Apple combined. And those are just the dollars we know about. A study was recently presented at the Workshop on the Economics of Information Security that took a look at the risks of being exploited by cyber criminals on internet porn sites. The BBC reports the International Secure System Lab found many of the sites are infected with malware or use "shady" practices to squeeze money out of visitors. While relatively few porn sites were infecting visitors, it is difficult to spot good from bad, said the researchers.

  • The House of Representatives has passed the "Grid Reliability and Infrastructure Defense Act." The Federation of American Scientists says the legislation is intended to bolster the national electric grid against terrorist attacks, cyber threats, electromagnetic pulse weapons and solar storms. The Act authorizes the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to issue emergency orders to protect critical electric infrastructure, and to take other measures to address current and potential vulnerabilities.

  • A botnet has been taken down, apparently by the cyber criminal who set it up in the first place. A senior threat researcher with TrendMicro says a self-destruct instruction was sent to the bots after the security firm blew the botnet's cover and exposed the proxy servers. After taking down the so-called Tequila botnet, the cyber criminals set up a second one, dubbed Mariachi botnet, which quickly went offline.

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