updated 4/30/2012 2:45:39 PM ET 2012-04-30T18:45:39

Pornographic websites are a favorite target of cybercriminals looking to spread nasty malware, but in the realm of dangerous domains, they're far safer than business, shopping and music sites, and, especially, personal blogs.

In Symantec's Internet Security Threat Report,  the security firm tracked the categories of websites most frequently exploited in 2011. At the bottom of the list were pornography sites, of which only 2.4 percent were exploited by cybercriminals. The statistic comes into clearer relief when compared with the top offender, blogs, of which 19.8 percent were infected, as well as personal hosted sites (15.6 percent), and business and economy websites (10 percent).

The list of dangerous categories also highlights shopping, entertainment, education, technology and automotive sites.

"It is interesting to note that websites hosting adult/pornographic content are not in the top five, but ranked 10th," Symantec researchers wrote.

But why are pornography sites, which make up such a huge part of the Internet, not as dangerous, at least compared with education, business or entertainment websites? Symantec said it's all about the money — and keeping the customer happy.

"Pornographic website owners already make money from the Internet and, as a result, have a vested interest in keeping their sites malware-free — it's not good for repeat business."

It's likely that blogs and personal sites were the most infected because their operators use outdated and unpatched versions of the popular blogging software WordPress. In April,  Kaspersky Lab reported  that the Flashback Trojan, a Mac-specific piece of malware, had spread via rigged WordPress blogs and compromised more than 600,000 machines.

© 2012 SecurityNewsDaily. All rights reserved


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