It’s the old adage: “Never buy sex from a dodgy vendor.”
And while sex products have a long history of being infected with malware, there are a few tricks to avoiding it.
“I just buy a condom, I never buy sex,” says Scott Kuchar, a senior software engineer at Google.
Kucharm works for a company that helps customers manage their security settings and track their activity.
He also runs the free Kucharsense tool, which helps companies monitor and report suspicious activity on their sites.
“It’s a bit like looking for malware,” he says.
Kochar is careful to mention that Kuchashield isn’t a product, but rather a tool that he developed.
“This is just a tool,” he explains.
“You can’t do anything without it.”
Kuchart is a bit more circumspect, saying he doesn’t trust sex-product vendors because they’re usually a bit of a risk to the security community.
“We’re not trusting anyone to do their job properly,” he said.
“But if we’re using it, it’s going to be pretty useful.”
Kochart also warns against buying any sex-products on Amazon.com, saying it could have been a “fraudster” to put sex-services in a “pay-to-play” scheme.
Kuchi, who is also a senior technology security engineer at Amazon, says he wouldn’t buy any sex products on the site because Amazon doesn’t track all its users.
Amazon declined to comment for this story.
Kichar agrees, saying that Amazon is “a huge target” for the malware threat.
“The vast majority of people who buy on Amazon are not criminals,” he told Wired.
“A lot of people are not doing anything illegal.”
The problem of sex-sourcing malware has been getting worse, Kucharewski says, because sex products are often sold to people who don’t know anything about cybersecurity.
“They are buying it for a purpose that is entirely unknowable,” he adds.