Definition of the Day: Pornware

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Pornware, as you have likely already surmised, is the name of a class of programs that find, download and display pornographic material on a device. It can be both legitimate and malware. Like adware the difference lies in whether or not the software was willingly downloaded and installed. Illegitimate uses of pornware will often automatically send users to advertising-supported pornographic websites and services.

Like a Trojan, Pornware can be injected into one’s machine through unpatched vulnerabilities in the operating system or web browser. It can also be installed by commonly-used Trojans like Trojan-Dropper or Trojan_Downloader Some examples of different types of pornware include;

Porn-Downloader. This application downloads pornography to the victim’s computer, often without them knowing. The risk factor of unknowingly having this type of malware on your machine can not be over-stated.

Porn-Tool. A porn-tool program takes the form of a browser toolbar extension that makes it easy to search for and view porn. This might include specialized video players.

Porn-Dialer. Like SMS hacking, a porn dialer is a program that dials adult, fee-based phone sex lines and runs up a huge bill without the user knowing.

Pornware is an area of malware that can not only cost you your bank account (through such exploit types as porn dialers) but also your freedom – should you end up the target of an illegal pornography investigation.

Bottom line, protect yourself by regularly scanning your machine for pornware programs. And then remove them with a good quality antivirus program.