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Websites of Businesses of UK Hacked to Host Images of Child Sexual Abuse and Malware

In its recently released annual report, Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), a registered IT security regulator, based in Cambridgeshire, England, has spotlighted a budding trend that has witnessed a number of UK company websites horded to host folders of child sexual violence pictures and malware, reported wired.co.uk on April 7, 2014.

The group (IWF) received 392 cases of websites being used to host content of child sex abuse during H2-2013 or last six months of 2013 as compared to nothing during previous 12 months.

Expressandstar.com reported on 7th April, 2014 quoting Emma Hardy, Director of External Relations of IWF as saying "We had scarcely seen hacked websites hosting pictures of child sexual abuse for sometime but last year (2013) we witnessed a spike in reports."

In 2013 only 1% of all imagery and videos of child sexual exploitation were hosted in UK but the number of web pages detected to be hosting pictures was up to 92 from 73 in 2012. IWF attributed the reason for the significant increase in number as hacking of authentic personal and business websites with two particular child sexual abuse website patterns - a method of distribution which has not been used much since 2010.

Actually hackers are not specifically trying to spread child-abuse images but trying to infect users with malware.

Pcpro.co.uk reported on 7th April, 2014 quoting the report as "The imagery of child sexual-abuse are detected in 'orphan folders' on the hacked sites which are accessible to only Internet users via links on many legitimate websites for adult. The particular type of content on these adult sites (which frequently featured grown-up adult actors) is such that it is very doubtful that those who are being uncovered to imagery of child sexual-abuse were looking for these."

On the whole, IWF ensured that 92 cases of child abuse images hosted in UK were "relatively low" and it proves that UK is "a unreceptive environment to those wanting to host such criminal content."

The IWF reports any child-abuse imagery not located in the United Kingdom to an international network. Of the non-UK pictures detected, 95% were hosted in nations signed-up to that network.

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