Cameron's Porn Initiative Could Bring About Fraud Schemes

Jul 31, 2015 3:34 PM PST

LONDON — Kaspersky Labs’ top security researcher warned of disturbing consequences if U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron’s latest porn initiative imposes users to hand over credit card and other payment details to access legal adult entertainment.

This week, Cameron said that porn sites would face being shut down unless its operators take action to stop children accessing their sexually explicit material.

Cameron’s call for age checks, however, could be problematic because it could lead to massive instances of fraud, according to David Emm, principal security researcher at Kaspersky Labs.

“My worry would be that we would start seeing a spate of phishing sites being created, using the lure of pornographic content,” Emm told the U.K.’s Expert Reviews.

Emm said the sites would be able to steal valuable data “under the guise that we need your credit card details to verify you.”

Commercial porn sites would be affected, too, becoming a target for hackers, who would “install malware on a site to steal personal information,” he said.

One recent case that comes to mind involves Ashley Madison, the matchmaking site for those seeking extra-marital affairs.

Hackers breached its security and stole its database, which could expose thousands to blackmail attempts.

Emm suggested it would be better if ISPs, rather than credit card companies, were to verify the age of users every time they went online.

He said that U.K. ISPs already have your bank details, so there’s no increased risk, and they could act as a gatekeeper to online porn content.

“On first access to the Internet, I’m required to enter a password that I set up when I first established an account,” Emms told Expert Reviews.

He said children would have separate accounts, which would automatically bar access to adult content, using existing filtering systems.

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