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."
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.