Framed For Child Porn -- By A PC Virus

Of all the sinister things that computer viruses do, this might be the worst: They can make you an unsuspecting collector of child pornography.

Pictures and videos can be deposited on computers by viruses. Pedophiles can exploit infected PCs to remotely store and view their stash without fear they'll get caught. Pranksters or someone trying to frame you can tap viruses to make it appear that you surf illegal Web sites.

Whatever the motivation, you get child porn on your computer. And you might not realize it until the police knock at your door.

An Associated Press investigation found cases in which innocent people have been branded as pedophiles. It can cost victims hundreds of thousands of dollars to prove their innocence.

Their situations are complicated by the fact that actual pedophiles often blame viruses.

One cyberlaw expert says: "It's an example of the old `dog ate my homework' excuse. The problem is, sometimes the dog does eat your homework."

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  • by mike on Nov 10, 2009 at 06:23 AM
    Why can we not shut-down the sites? So perhaps we don't want censorship on the the internet but when it crosses the line as does the child-porn folks, why can we not shut it down or deny access to these sites? The military does it already on their is possible...let's do it.
  • by Baker Location: New Bern on Nov 9, 2009 at 11:37 AM
    I'm in the computer security field, so I have heard of similar cases. In a case like this, a computer forensics expert may have to analyze everything on your computer in order to determine when and how the virus got there and when the files were planted. The $$$ comes in when someone has to hire a lawyer or hire a private computer forensics expert. Child porn is a federal offense, so someone may have to go through a lot of aggravation before they find the right person who can help clear their name. They also may have to buy a replacement computer, as the one with the child porn will likely be seized as evidence.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 9, 2009 at 03:31 AM
    scary stuff
  • by Nathan Location: Eastern NC on Nov 9, 2009 at 02:13 AM
    Yes, get a Mac if you have $1000 or more for a whole new machine. Or get Linux which, at Microsoft & Adobe prices, is worth $1500 or more-did I mention it comes with a Photoshop clone? Now for those stuck with Windows who want to nip this virus in the bud, please heed this advice. There's a program called PeerBlock, it's like a firewall. Google it. Download & install it. On their site, they link to some blocklists. PeerBlock is mainly for protecting file sharers, but there is an interesting use of it. There is a list called "Pedophiles" up there that, if you add this list to PeerBlock, it will BLOCK ACCESS TO registered sex offenders and people who share all kinds of illegal porn. If you have kids who IM & you worry about sickos contacting them-if they're registered, this will block them. It's not 100%, but it's a start. WITN, I can post more detailed instructions and computer safety/security tips, e.g. in a blog, if you'll let me, just email me, let me know. I'd be honored to share.
  • by RealityCheck Location: Washington Park on Nov 8, 2009 at 08:31 PM
    This story is frightening. What a nightmare it would be. I think I'll unplug my computer & go to bed.
  • by OH on Nov 8, 2009 at 07:43 PM
    can they check your computer for a virus?? why should you have to pay thousands to someone to keep you out of jail if youre innocent? if youre innocent, you should be compensated the amount of your lawyers fees!
  • by Scott on Nov 8, 2009 at 05:59 PM
    Get a Mac...
  • by Nathan Location: Eastern NC on Nov 8, 2009 at 05:41 PM
    Well, a virus is pretty much just a script that automatically does things, typically, as here, contrary to the wishes of the machine's owner, and it's often delivered in a sneaky manner. I have not seen this, but similar nasties, including a virus which set me up sharing fake movies on bittorrent, which were really copies of the virus designed to spread. Regarding the last comment, it's not that it isn't safe to use computers. It just isn't safe to use Windows. Look up Ubuntu or Fedora - these are Linux distributions. Download them - they're free - and burn them. Put them back in your computer and reboot. They'll run full-featured off the CD or DVD without affecting your hard drive. When you're comfortable with them, you can install them, but until you make that choice, you can go back to Windows at any time. Linux comes with Firefox as well as an office suite (OpenOffice), many good programs, and latest versions are just as pretty as Windows 7. And they're much more secure.
  • by DUUU on Nov 8, 2009 at 05:31 PM
    Lawyers you pay to prove your innocence in court cost money. If you want to stay out of jail, you might better get one.
  • by Reader on Nov 8, 2009 at 05:29 PM
    They are paying legal fees.
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