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Symantec: Religious Sites "Riskier Than Porn For Viruses"

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the surfing-dirty dept.

Security 343

First time accepted submitter kongshem writes "According to Symantec's annual Internet Security Threat Report, religious and ideological websites have far more security threats per infected site than adult/pornographic sites. Why is that? Symantec's theory: 'We hypothesize that this is because pornographic Web site owners already make money from the Internet and, as a result, have a vested interested in keeping their sites malware-free — it's not good for repeat business,'"

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first yo (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39887325)

first!

JEBUS will protect me! (5, Funny)

RandomAdam (1837998) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887349)

But jebus will protect me so I don't need your silly anti-virus

Re:JEBUS will protect me! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39887529)

There have been many empires in world history that invested in religion.

Those investments are now nice tourist sites.

Go Jebus!

Re:JEBUS will protect me! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39887721)

> But jebus will protect me so I don't need your silly anti-virus
Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'"

Re:JEBUS will protect me! (4, Funny)

arglebargle_xiv (2212710) | more than 2 years ago | (#39888257)

> But jebus will protect me so I don't need your silly anti-virus Jesus answered him, âoeIt is also written: âDo not put the Lord your God to the test.'"

Why would I want to test Linus?

Correction (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#39888343)

But jebus will protect me so I don't need your silly anti-virus

Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.' "

Why would I want to test Linus?

It was a reference to Gnu/RMS, you insensitive clod!

Re:Correction (1)

Barefoot Monkey (1657313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39888429)

Well, RMS himself did write "Warning: taking the Church of Emacs (or any church) too seriously may be hazardous to your health." It seems fitting.

Re:JEBUS will protect me! (0)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887831)

No he won't. But that's ok, because you're a sinner, and so you deserve all the viruses you're getting.

Re:JEBUS will protect me! (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 2 years ago | (#39888337)

No he won't. But that's ok, because you're a sinner, and so you deserve all the viruses you're getting.

God only worked like that in the old testament.

Re:JEBUS will protect me! (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887837)

I was going to say something along the same lines "that users feel safer" [in the house of their lord].

But I was also going to say "uhm... you think churches DON'T make money?!" They make LOTSA... tax-free money.

Re:JEBUS will protect me! (3, Interesting)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#39888223)

But I was also going to say "uhm... you think churches DON'T make money?!" They make LOTSA... tax-free money.

Very true, but their website is not how they make their money. TFS made it clear that porn sites "already make money from the Internet and, as a result, have a vested interested in keeping their sites malware-free." If churches used a 'pay to pray' web model they too would be more inclined to make sure their websites were clean.

About a month ago one of my clients got infected by going to their church's website. I was able to verify it simply by going to the church's home page with the browser agent set to any Windows browser (instead of as a Mac).

Re:JEBUS will protect me! (5, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39888087)

The sad part is you aren't far from reality, but the reality is "I have jebus so I don't need to understand anything like technology" which as someone who has worked with religious charities I can tell you that most of the people there have less understanding of even basic tech than your average 6th grader. I hate to say it but that whole thing about religious being "sheep"? kinda accurate. I mean shit I hadn't had to deal with in years, basic info like "Hey don't go around opening attachments from people you don't know" or "Don't just download any old program from some bunch you've never heard of and run it". That is why I don't do those types of charities anymore, instead giving older units to poor families because at least I don't have to treat them like someone who has never seen a PC and can simply give them a few basic rules and not have to worry about the machine getting trashed.

I wouldn't be a bit surprised if those websites were cooked up by somebody's cousin in Dreamweaver just as a favor and handed over to some deacon who knows absolutely nothing about websites other than how to change the content. For some reason religious types and tech? Do NOT go together.

Solution (3, Informative)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887371)

If the problem is that porn sites are more heavily monetized, that means the religions need to catch up. They could offer all kinds of services online for a price -- even eternal salvation.

Some religions already offer this [subgenius.com] , of course. Looks like a good deal to me!

Re:Solution (4, Insightful)

djl4570 (801529) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887461)

It's not like the Jesus racket isn't heavily monetized. Between 1997 and 2004 they shook my mother down for north of thirty grand a few hundred dollars at a time. Multiply that by the number of middle class eighty year old widows out there and you reveal a huge pool of elderly marks. Send them solicitations that look like bills and profit. There's a reason that some folks referred to PTL as Pass the Loot. The sites in question do not have a deep well of technical aptitude to draw from. People with the critical thinking skills necessary to perform well in information technology have outgrown any need for invisible friends.

Re:Solution (1)

michelcolman (1208008) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887955)

People with the critical thinking skills necessary to perform well in information technology have outgrown any need for invisible friends.

Yes, but not the need for money from invisible strangers.

Re:Solution (3, Insightful)

cowboy76Spain (815442) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887603)

Some religions?

I dare you to tell me a single religion that has not used to made money from the stup... believers.

Best scam ever, if you tell the victims about it they become mad at you.

Jesus loves you long time. (3, Insightful)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887633)

You're kidding right? Monetisation is the backbone of all major and proselytising religions.

I think we should give porn (and other commercial sex services like prostitution) the tax free status possessed by all religions, no matter how stupid, dangerous, or just obviously fraudulent. If scientology, sleazebag televangelists and the pope can all soak the gullible for millions and not pay a cent in taxes, why shouldn't porn stars and prostitutes? At least they're honest when they lie to you.

Re:Jesus loves you long time. (0)

michelcolman (1208008) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887987)

Porn as a religion, that's not a bad idea. The Church of the Holy Dick. I bet you could get enough believers to qualify as an official religion in no time. If even pastafarianism managed to get recognized in some countries, why not!

Re:Jesus loves you long time. (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 2 years ago | (#39888397)

Think of the stuff you could wear in public claiming religious persecution whenever you get hassled...

Where do I sign up to be a Pussy Preacher? I'll use that scene out of From Dusk till Dawn as inspiration :)

Re:Solution (1)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887817)

I refer you to the concept of "Pardoner" in the mediaeval RC church.

Re:Solution (1)

Barsteward (969998) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887939)

Already done. You just have to tell people that you have worked out from the bible when the world is going to end and they just send you money..

Religion (4, Insightful)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887373)

First they infect the children. Then they infect the computer.
Luckily a little bit of reading usually helps with the disinfection process.

Re:Religion (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39887521)

Yes, a little reading helps with disinfection, for example:

The Quotations from Chairman Mao

Dialectical and Historical Materialism (Stalin)

These guys had the same ideals as you, eradicate religion from the minds of the feeble people.

Re:Religion (1)

Eraesr (1629799) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887533)

Re:Religion (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39887575)

No need to start comparison with Hitler. That one is debatable. Start with Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Enver Hoxha. They have a high score of 60 million or such. They can't debate that one, since it is written: religion is the opium of the people and inherently bad.

Re:Religion (4, Insightful)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39888341)

Yes, and millions of people have also died in the name of god... so that means Stalin and Mao are the same as *insert religious leader*, right? Just a slightly different message?

Could it just be that murderers are bad, regardless of their religious beliefs? Saying that trying to limit the scope of religion is bad because of Stalin is the same as saying the teachings of Jesus are bad because of the Crusades & Inquisition. Both are simply stupid.

Re:Religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39888487)

Yes i can see how you are wise. However you got mod 2, and the idiot who said "first they infect the children" got a 5 Insightful. Because people are stupid, and given a fantastic leader like Cruciform, will do incredibly stupid things. Let's get this straight: it is not about the children, even if he mentions them.

Re:Religion (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39887573)

Don't like religion? COMMUNIST SOCIALIST HITLER!

Really, that's what you've boiled this shit down to now?

Re:Religion (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887707)

I give you only one out of five troll-points. Too short, lacking in class.

Re:Religion (3, Insightful)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39888317)

Right, because nobody has EVER died in the name of religion, right? I would venture to say that the number of people killed in the name of one god or another absolutely dwarfs the number of people killed by those attempting to end religion.

Anyways, I don't mind religion being in the minds of the feeble people. I just mind those people being bale to dictate what I can do, and what my government does. Besides, the real problem isn't the flocks of idiots, it's the somewhat clever people leading those flocks.

Re:Religion (1)

kanweg (771128) | more than 2 years ago | (#39888501)

True but in exactly the same category as religion: Imposing an ideology on other people. We got rid of Stalin etc. But there are more ideologies to clean up. We do this by reason and education, stimulating people to check the facts (evolution, you name it).

Bert
As to Mao etc., these guys know that a powerhouse can destroy their power. So, of course a dictator will attack religion. You want gullible people to listen to you, not to others.

Same for sex (3, Insightful)

o'reor (581921) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887375)

It's probably more risky to have sex with religious/bigot folks than pr0n actors.

There, someone had to say it :-)

Re:Same for sex (2)

Sasayaki (1096761) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887463)

Fundamentalism is not sexually transmitted, it's generally passed from parent to child.

Re:Same for sex (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39887577)

Children are sexually transmitted so there's a flaw in your logic there.

Re:Same for sex (4, Insightful)

reve_etrange (2377702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887587)

It's got to be, the one has abstinence only sex-ed and the other has certified documentation of being disease-free.

Re:Same for sex (2)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887811)

It's probably more risky to have sex with religious/bigot folks than pr0n actors.

You can't have sex with religious people. You can only procreate with them, which leads to more religious people. So you don't want that.

Dawkins/GODSPOT-0DAY (0, Troll)

cognoscentus (1628459) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887377)

Of course, some would describe religion thus: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viruses_of_the_Mind [wikipedia.org]

Re:Dawkins/GODSPOT-0DAY (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39887421)

interesting how every single one of the symptoms described applies to Atheists as much as any of the faiths Dawkins intends to deride.

Re:Dawkins/GODSPOT-0DAY (1)

cognoscentus (1628459) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887479)

I do think of Dawkins as a devout Atheist - and he certainly likes to spread his ideas. Some of his arguments against religion seem merely to argue that it is bad just because it is most likely delusional (which I don't necessarily go along with). However, when it comes to the impact of freedoms of others, contraception and other issues, the malignant aspect of a virus seems to manifest itself much more clearly in the theist's park than Dawkins' proselytising.

Re:Dawkins/GODSPOT-0DAY (3, Interesting)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887523)

Indeed, atheism has as little support in science as theism. Agnosticism is the only scientific viewpoint.

Re:Dawkins/GODSPOT-0DAY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39887571)

The technical term is "Logical Positivism".

Re:Dawkins/GODSPOT-0DAY (5, Insightful)

eddy (18759) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887665)

I don't agree. Agnosticism is just weak atheism, and only relevant if you ascribe special importance to some religions and their gods. Otherwise, what's the point of being agnostic about EVERYTHING you can't know whether it exists or not? It's nonsense. "Oh, I'm an agnostic about the invisible pink unicorn (blessed be her holy hooves), and about Kropal the mighty God of Making Holes in Socks, and about Thor and about Klaatu and about Mohammed and about Jesus and about Cats being the avatars of our master race and about ...".

Anyone who can seriously invent a god and then say that the only scientific viewpoint is to be agnostic about it (because you know, who knows, right?), is just hiding behind their mother's skirts.

Re:Dawkins/GODSPOT-0DAY (5, Informative)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887759)

It is not even that. Atheism and Agnosticism exist on orthogonal axes. Theism and Atheism make ontological statements about the existence resp. nonexistence of deities. Agnosticism, on the other hand, makes an epistemological statement about the possibility to know about said existence. It is perfectly possible to be an agnostic theist as well as an agnostic atheist.

As for the scientific validity - in absence of evidence, the default assumption is non-existence. It is simple as that. Do we need that debate every single fucking time the weekly religion vs. atheism thread pops up?

Re:Dawkins/GODSPOT-0DAY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39888409)

Depends on the type of atheism you are referring to. I would agree for so-called "Strong" Atheism. Such a stance is the explicit denial of the existence of any deity. "Weak" Atheism is either the stance that the question of whether or not a deity exists is itself nonsensical or simply not even bothering to consider the question at all. Everyone starts life as a weak atheist.

Here's how the strong atheists, agnostics, and weak atheists answer the question, "Is there a deity?":

Strong Atheist: "No"

Agnostic: "I don't know"

Weak Atheist: "Huh?"

Re:Dawkins/GODSPOT-0DAY (1)

michelcolman (1208008) | more than 2 years ago | (#39888003)

mod parent up

Re:Dawkins/GODSPOT-0DAY (1)

tinkerton (199273) | more than 2 years ago | (#39888403)

Agnosticism is just weak atheism,
I agree. It has a bit of a scientific flavor but it's rubbish.

There's another distinction that needs to be made though Most atheists are antitheists and usually against religion. They are believers in not-God. Atheism is also typically a reaction to christianity. Just read the piece "Roman Catholic Atheist" [skeptic.com] about how weird it is that Freeman Dyson goes to church. Contrast this with how acceptable the idea is of an atheist Jew in a synagogue.

  An atheist in the more literal sense would have a more neutral attitude. Mainly, less involved, like someone who just got introduced to the concept. I don't mind anthropomorphising too much and I could believe in a God if properly defined, so that it becomes a valuable concept.

Re:Dawkins/GODSPOT-0DAY (4, Informative)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887753)

Rejcting a claim that has zero evidence and defies logic is not only scientific, it's common-sense. Dawkin's has on many occasions stated in plain english that neither he nor anyone else can be absolutely sure that unicorns don't fart rainbows, but that there is absolutely zero evidence to suggest that unverifyable reports of such beasts are anything more than an elaborate fiction. If you had spent more than 5 minutes to read his books, listen to his lectures, or watch his debates, you would have known that.

If you are interested in forming a more accurate picture of Dawkins rather than parroting the Fox and Friends charactature that is so popular in the US, the first of his books with a religious theme that I would recommend is "Unweaving the Rainbow".

Re:Dawkins/GODSPOT-0DAY (2)

Stuarticus (1205322) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887763)

Would science ever come up with religion as a reasonable hypothesis if it weren't for oral transmission of myths? No, because it's patently absurd.

Re:Dawkins/GODSPOT-0DAY (2)

thewils (463314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887539)

interesting how every single one of the symptoms described applies to Atheists as much as any of the faiths Dawkins intends to deride.

Yeah - except for the ones that talk about evidence though, right?

Re:Dawkins/GODSPOT-0DAY (4, Informative)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887545)

Well, let's see

It is impelled by some deep, inner conviction that something is true, or right, or virtuous: a conviction that doesn't seem to owe anything to evidence or reason, but which, nevertheless, the believer feels as totally compelling and convincing.

Atheist is impelled by conviction fuelled by external evidence, or lack of evidence. It's incredibly compelling to note that the two largest theist franchises claim their deity possesses three qualities - omnipotence, omniscience, and benevolence - and that the state of the world is completely at odds with any entity with all three qualities existing. It's also compelling to note that the more we discover about the universe, the more things we discover that work just fine without any kind of deity.

The believer typically makes a positive virtue of faith's being strong and unshakable, despite it not being based upon evidence.

Atheists don't make a positive virtue of unshakable faith. If anything we use this as an argument ad-hominem about how childish theists are. If you proved that a particular deity existed with actual evidence, most of us would probably a) pee ourselves b) recant our position.

There is a conviction that "mystery", per se, is a good thing; the belief that it is not a virtue to solve mysteries but to enjoy them and revel in their insolubility.

Many of the the most prominent atheists in the media are scientists, a kind of person who by definition delves into mysteries to see how they actually work. I personally find that atheism arises most in those with a questioning mind, the kind of mind that finds that understanding, for example, how the transition of electrons through particular quantum states governs the colour of the light emitted, does not diminish the beauty of phenomena like their aurora borealis, but instead enhances it.

There may be intolerant behaviour towards perceived rival faiths, in extreme cases even the killing of opponents or advocating of their deaths. Believers may be similarly violent in disposition towards apostates or heretics, even if those espouse only a slightly different version of the faith.

We're intolerant of unpleasant behaviour in general (giving the lie to the theistic argument that an atheist can have no moral foundation). We are particularly angered when such behaviour is justified on the basis of faith. Objectively, being a religious asshat is not worse than being a standard asshat, but we observe that religion has a tendency to nurture and encourage asshattery of certain types, and even for asshats it did not create, it provides a readily accessible stock of cherry-picked excuses and justifications for asshattery, whereas a faithless man might have fallen back on his conscience, or fear of the law.

The particular convictions that the believer holds, while having nothing to do with evidence, are likely to resemble those of the believer's parents.

I don't think this can be disputed - atheist parents are more likely to have atheist kids. This is nothing to do with religion per-se, this is an observation about culture in general.

If the believer is one of the rare exceptions who follows a different religion from his parents, the explanation may be cultural transmission from a charismatic individual.

Another observation about culture and how it's transmitted, but it fits in with the "viral ideas" theory. Ideas ARE viral, and we invent new transmission vectors like Twitter, and hashtags.

The internal sensations of the 'faith-sufferer' may be reminiscent of those more ordinarily associated with sexual love.

I don't think atheists have a woody for the absence of a deity. I don't think you can be sexually excited about the absence of something. I think atheists, just like everyone else, can have displacement of their sexual urges in a fetishistic style for other things, but I think the main difference is that we get excited by things we chose, or happened upon by chance, or had advertised to us, instead of something we were told to find exciting by a preacher man.

So, I find your assertation on that these characteristics apply equally to atheists to be baseless ; some of them may apply in whole or in part, but others are quite exclusive to religious memes.

Re:Dawkins/GODSPOT-0DAY (1, Insightful)

Intropy (2009018) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887743)

Several of the arguments you're making do not hold up.

Atheist is impelled by conviction fuelled by external evidence, or lack of evidence. It's incredibly compelling to note that the two largest theist franchises claim their deity possesses three qualities - omnipotence, omniscience, and benevolence - and that the state of the world is completely at odds with any entity with all three qualities existing. It's also compelling to note that the more we discover about the universe, the more things we discover that work just fine without any kind of deity.

Your first assertion is the equivalent of the common, "why would a perfect god allow X?" That is not a refutation of the existence of God. It suggests that God doesn't exist OR we have an imperfect understanding of either God or the universe. The second point is a note that there is a lack of evidence, which again doesn't point one way or the other.

Atheists don't make a positive virtue of unshakable faith. If anything we use this as an argument ad-hominem about how childish theists are. If you proved that a particular deity existed with actual evidence, most of us would probably a) pee ourselves b) recant our position.

You claim that if real proof of God's existence were offered then most Atheists would recant their positions. But you also seem to be assuming that the inverse is not true. I see no basis for thinking that a religious person would not recant his position if the opposite one were proven. Neither position is currently proven, and I don't foresee that happening any time soon.

Many of the the most prominent atheists in the media are scientists, a kind of person who by definition delves into mysteries to see how they actually work. I personally find that atheism arises most in those with a questioning mind, the kind of mind that finds that understanding, for example, how the transition of electrons through particular quantum states governs the colour of the light emitted, does not diminish the beauty of phenomena like their aurora borealis, but instead enhances it.

Does the scientist delve in to the mystery because he dislikes it? I think you'll find as many scientists claiming to like the mystery he's exploring as you'll find theologists with the same claim.

I don't think atheists have a woody for the absence of a deity. I don't think you can be sexually excited about the absence of something. I think atheists, just like everyone else, can have displacement of their sexual urges in a fetishistic style for other things, but I think the main difference is that we get excited by things we chose, or happened upon by chance, or had advertised to us, instead of something we were told to find exciting by a preacher man.

The idea of God's existence and the idea of God's inexistence are just two more "things." Either can be and are fetishised, as you note humans sometimes do,or not. As for how you come across them I think you're making a distinction without a difference. You can chance across a "preacher man." You can choose the religion. You can choose the atheism. And it seems to me that from a non-religious point of view the advertiser and the "preacher man" are markedly similar.

Atheism is the belief, without evidence, in the lack of existence of any deity. Theism is the belief, without evidence, in the existence of some deity or deities or their rough equivalents. Both are unproven and (probably) non-falsifiable beliefs.

Re:Dawkins/GODSPOT-0DAY (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887945)

It suggests that God doesn't exist OR we have an imperfect understanding of either God or the universe.

A perfect reason to reject that particular *religion* then. If power supernatural sentience exists, both the atheist and the theist have their description of the universe wrong. As it happens, the atheist position may make assumptions about the non-existence of god - you can't, as you rightly point out, prove a negative - but the observable universe does not disagree with his position on the nature of God.

From the evidential POV, atheism and agnosticism are equal to a theistic stance which believes that God does not intervene in the universe, but most religions have the answer to prayer as a major plank of their platform, and thus hold a position at odds with the lack of evidence that prayer has a measurable effect. If God does not intervene in the universe, then religion is of dubious value unless it conveys benefits that are not achievable otherwise, which is observably not the case. People are capable of being moral, charitable, cooperative, law-abiding, good parents, and upstanding citizens without the aid of religion, and are probably less likely to stray from the "path" given that atheism has a strong correlation with better education and income. So the only possible benefits would seem to be set apart from the concerns of our life here on Earth.

The question of entry into an afterlife paradise is something we can't examine ; but if you have faith that over half the world's population are damned to eternal suffering, or even just exclusion from paradise, because blind chance has birthed them into the wrong religion, and yet you continue to worship a being you believe not just to be OK with that, but ordain it, what does this say about your own morals? Even if I had empirical proof that such an entity existed, I would still be an atheist - not claiming that no God existed, but refusing to worship any such God. (Coercion by fear negates act of worship as being mere pretence, in my mind).

Does the scientist delve in to the mystery because he dislikes it? I think you'll find as many scientists claiming to like the mystery he's exploring as you'll find theologists with the same claim.

The difference being emphasised is that the scientist revels in exploring mystery and revealing truth, where the religion exhorts it's followers to be content to perceive mystery and not explore it - the implication being that religion fears that truth so revealed is incompatible with it's doctrine, a fear that is not without basis or precedent.

Re:Dawkins/GODSPOT-0DAY (1)

Smauler (915644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39888481)

The second point is a note that there is a lack of evidence, which again doesn't point one way or the other.

There's also a lack of evidence for many other things, but we don't believe them. Making a categorical statement that something does not exist is, in my opinion, a little pointless. Most atheists do not seek to prove god does not exist. They just point out there's no compelling evidence for god, just as there is no compelling evidence for the billions of other things we do not believe in.

The idea of God's existence and the idea of God's inexistence are just two more "things."

No, they're not. There are almost infinite things we do not believe in. Claiming that each of those beliefs is equivalent to believing in god is wrong. I do not believe that undetectable miniature pink William Shatner lookalikes riding green unicorns swat quarks with orange flyswats, resulting in quantum mechanics weirdness. No one in the history of time has ever believed that. Believing that is not as valid a standpoint as not believing it.

Note here - I'm not trying to make belief in god look silly, I'm purely refuting the argument that believing in something without evidence is the same thing as not believing in something without evidence.

Atheism is the belief, without evidence, in the lack of existence of any deity.

Very few atheist would argue they can prove the lack of existance of any deity. To do so is stupid. Similarly, very few people would claim to be able to disprove many other theories, like the Shatners above. That doesn't mean believing in them is an equivalent "thing" to not believing in them.

Re:Dawkins/GODSPOT-0DAY (2, Insightful)

reve_etrange (2377702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887691)

How so? Let's look at them one-by-one.

1. Deep conviction of truth without evidence. Atheists in general have so such conviction. Atheism is the absence of belief, not an alternative belief. 0 points.
2. Unshakable faith. Most atheists and certainly most atheist scholars argue against dogmatism and in favor of evidence-based belief and decision making. 0 points.
3. Mystery as such is inherently good. I'm going to skip this one; ascribing it to atheists seems "not even wrong." 0 points.
4. Intolerant behavior toward rival faiths. Atheists may be intolerant of religious people, true, but profession of atheism has been a killing offence in many places for thousands of years. Atheists also do not claim that people who disagree with them deserve and will suffer an eternity of pain. Let's say, half a point.
5. Particular convictions are likely to resemble those of one's parents. Probably true of people in general, however atheists are also much more likely to have different beliefs than do their parents. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and a full point.
6. If beliefs differ from the parents, a singular charismatic individual may be responsible. I think it's much more common for people to become atheists due to internal reflection and external observations, than it is for them to become religious. However, Dawkins, Hitchens, etc. fall into the category of "charismatic individuals". 1 point.
7. Internal feelings may be similar to romantic love. I don't think anyone is really experiencing the passion of the nothing that way, and their are no wives of the nothing (i.e. atheist nuns) either. 0 points.

So of the 7 "symptoms" Dawkins describes, just 2.5 of them can be fairly ascribed to atheists.

Re:Dawkins/GODSPOT-0DAY (1)

voidphoenix (710468) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887727)

From the GPP-linked wiki article:
Dawkins suggests that religious belief in the "faith-sufferer" typically shows the following elements:
* It is impelled by some deep, inner conviction that something is true, or right, or virtuous: a conviction that doesn't seem to owe anything to evidence or reason, but which, nevertheless, the believer feels as totally compelling and convincing. -- Nope. We require evidence, extraordinary evidence for extraordinary claims.
* The believer typically makes a positive virtue of faith's being strong and unshakable, despite it not being based upon evidence. -- Nope. A basic idea to the scientific process is that our theories are the best we know of, today. Tomorrow, we could be proven wrong, and that's a good thing, it means we learned something new.
* There is a conviction that "mystery", per se, is a good thing; the belief that it is not a virtue to solve mysteries but to enjoy them and revel in their insolubility. -- Nope. Our goal is to solve the mysteries. In the words of Gregory House: "Knowing is way cooler."
* There may be intolerant behaviour towards perceived rival faiths, in extreme cases even the killing of opponents or advocating of their deaths. Believers may be similarly violent in disposition towards apostates or heretics, even if those espouse only a slightly different version of the faith. -- That's going to require a citation, I personally know of no instances where an atheist was violent towards a religious person _because of their religion_.
* The particular convictions that the believer holds, while having nothing to do with evidence, are likely to resemble those of the believer's parents. -- Nope. In fact, most atheists practiced some form of religion, usually their parents', before they became atheists. To quote Carlin: "When I was a kid, I was a Catholic, at least until I reached the age of reason."
* If the believer is one of the rare exceptions who follows a different religion from his parents, the explanation may be cultural transmission from a charismatic individual. -- Or it might not. Does it matter how you learned about it? Not really a "symptom", IMHO.
* The internal sensations of the 'faith-sufferer' may be reminiscent of those more ordinarily associated with sexual love. -- LOL. Okay, that's one I've never heard anyone accuse atheists/atheism of. Again, citation?

More details? (5, Interesting)

Inquisitus (937664) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887381)

TFA is incredibly light on details. Where's the link to the report itself? How is a threat defined? And is than statistic of three times the number of threats normalized over all sites in each category (as TFA suggests), or just the infected ones (as the summary suggests)?

It is interesting to note that websites hosting adult/pornographic content are not in the top five, but ranked tenth

So how are they categorizing pornographic websites? What are the other 9 categories that are more "dangerous"?

Re:More details? (4, Interesting)

RsG (809189) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887409)

I'd like some more detail too.

TFA specifically mentioned sites that have been hijacked. Which makes sense to me, since there can't be that many sites where the viruses are the work of the site owner - spyware is another matter entirely. Porn sites, especially pay sites, are bound to have better security than a site made by amateurs.

Which leads me to wonder why religious sites would be hijacked more frequently than other amateur operations. Are they more vulnerable due to shoddy security practices? Are they attractive to people looking to spread viruses? Do they have a reputation for attracting users who may not have antivirus software installed?

Re:More details? (3, Interesting)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887435)

Are the religious sites with the most viruses perhaps connected with religions that certain governments (whose names and faces have been changed to protect the ignorant) might associate with terrorism? If so, what's the chance that these viruses are, in fact, actually cyberwarfare rather than cybercrime? Just a thought.

Re:More details? (0)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | more than 2 years ago | (#39888295)

Is there a religion that is NOT associated with terrorism?

Re:More details? (2)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887441)

That was my assumption on reading TFS. In my (admittedly limited) experience, there are an awful lot of religious sites out there that look like throw-backs to GeoCities and the golden age of MySpace profile pages. I can't imagine the well-meaning pensioners who are likely to set up their local bible study circle website is going to be that au fait with good e-security practices. You'd be lucky if they've even remembered to set an admin password.

Re:More details? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887843)

Purely anecdotially, I imagine 'any site using z to end a word' comes in a the top.

Just like IRL (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39887385)

While promiscuous sex may make you ill, religions and ideologies actually kill people

Not just online... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39887393)

Interestingly, the same is also true for sexually transmitted viruses in the physical world.

(Oh yeah, you can bet I'm clickin' Anonymous Coward on this one...)

No virus on your computer son? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39887395)

What kind of sites are you surfing on?

Hypothesis (1)

bored_engineer (951004) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887397)

I don't really have much to add to the conversation. I'm just happy to see somebody call it the hypothesis that it is, rather than the theory that it isn't.

Lack of Analytical thinking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39887399)

Well, you know. Let's just be honest, logical thinking. And the more religious you are the less you do of that. And keeping a well run website takes a bit of thought, preparedness. So, there we are

Another possible explanation (4, Interesting)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887403)

While their ideas may be true, by my understanding it's mainly the free porn sites that are riskiest. It used to be that they set up expensive dialers, or other ways to make money. I believe it's a way for them to make money other than by serving ads or selling subscriptions, and that actually webmasters installed that stuff on their sites. Those dialers at least tended to be called after porn sites, and actually gave (paid) access to the sites.

Dialers don't work anymore these days of course, with no-one using modems and dial-up. And maybe webmasters have cleaned up their act too.

Now those religious sites, they are usually set up by people with a passion - to spread a certain message, about a religion or otherwise, and that are often people with little or no knowledge on setting up a website and keeping it malware free. As such I would expect such sites to be a relatively soft target for malware attackers, that then use the site to distribute their wares without the webmaster knowing. A very different scenario.

That porn sites are often in it for the money, will definitely also help. At least they'll have someone around that knows how to secure a web site.

Re:Another possible explanation (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887455)

My favourite theory about porn-site viruses is that they rely on the shame factor- you're far less likely to haul your laptop into PC World's Repair Centre and admit you got stung downloading embarrassing quantities of videos featuring men in nappies being ridden like a horse than you are if you got stung reading some cookery website.

What that says about people's opinion of religious websites I couldn't possibly comment.

Re:Another possible explanation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39887635)

videos featuring men in nappies being ridden like a horse

Whoa, wait a minute, how the fuck did you know?! O_o

Can you see which websites I visit?

Re:Another possible explanation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39887541)

Time to get the Mormons involved into the business of anti-virus and security. If their would share their passion for genealogy with that for the genealogy of viruses, bad code and security threats, the world might be a better place..
I'm not so sure I'm kidding.

Re:Another possible explanation (2)

outsider007 (115534) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887679)

Mormons are anti-science. Which is strange considering their time-traveling/interplanetary celestial origins. Then again you never see Superman on a computer. Actually I remember Supes destroying a giant computer in Superman III. Wait.. Is Superman a Mormon?

Re:Another possible explanation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39888129)

Is Superman a Mormon?

Definitely. Just see the suits and glasses Clark Kent wears.

Re:Another possible explanation (1)

WSOGMM (1460481) | more than 2 years ago | (#39888465)

Hey, if the religious website administrator can't prevent malware from entering the site, maybe the readers are just as bad at preventing malware from entering their computer! That makes religious sites an even bigger target!

http://science.slashdot.org/story/10/03/01/1648232/liberalism-and-atheism-linked-to-iq [slashdot.org]

Ok, sorry, blatant attack on religion. I just remember reading the article, so making the connection made me smile. Err, I mean... smile in the least offensive of ways.

ninth yo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39887411)

ninth!

Condoms (3, Informative)

The Evil Atheist (2484676) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887415)

This is what you get when you preach abstinence-only sex education.

Re:Condoms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39887733)

Abstinence works perfectly well to secure websites.
The website stored in a disconnected server is safe from all remote exploits.

Re:Condoms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39887863)

Could anyone please explain what this message is supposed to imply and how it's relevant to the article?

Think of the women and children (2, Funny)

pwnyxpress (2597273) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887439)

"pornography leads to terrible crimes against women and children" [from http://conservapedia.com/Porn%5D [conservapedia.com] citing my sources for the reliable truth of the matter... this is reliable isn't it?

Re:Think of the women and children (2)

Sasayaki (1096761) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887467)

Ahh, Conservapedia. The only way to vandalise CP is to post facts.

It really makes me sad, sometimes, that these people exist -- but I'm glad they're allowed to express their retarded, deranged opinions freely and without fear of retribution... because it allows everyone to see what twats they really are.

Re:Think of the women and children (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39887559)

Wait. Conservapedia isn't an entirely satirical work? People actually use it like Wikipedia? Surely not.

Re:Think of the women and children (1)

FrootLoops (1817694) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887683)

I don't let myself read Conservapedia articles on topics I actually care about anymore. That includes some of their math articles, most of their science articles, and all of their gay articles. It makes me too angry to be unable to correct their ridiculousness. As an example, here's a gem from the Elementary Proof article:

elementary proofs minimize the underlying assumptions, as in avoiding the assumption that there is a unique, algebraically manipulable square root of negative one

(-1 has two square roots, -i and i, not one; the construction of the complex numbers from the real numbers is basic and entails no extra assumptions in standard formulations.)

Andy Schlafly, the Conservapedia head-honcho, has a problem with the rigorousness of imaginary numbers. It's particularly bizarre when you consider Andy has a Bachelor's in Electrical Engineering from Princeton. His brother Roger has a Ph.D. in mathematics from Berkeley (an excellent school for math; his adviser was even the famous mathematician Isadore Singer of Atiyah-Singer Index Theorem fame) and contributes some to Conservapedia.

Anywho, it's mostly best to just stay away, though a while ago I did have a laugh at the Obama article. He's "also known by the alias Barry Soetoro" and is "probably the first Muslim President". About his birth certificate,

After many leading conservatives including the leadership of this site and brilliant business man Donald Trump AKA "The Donald" called for Obama to release his birth certificate he did on April 27.

Re:Think of the women and children (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887795)

Actually, I think that in line with Poe's law, they have by now accidentally banned all serious users and the remaining trolls are running the show. Makes no difference of course.

Regarding the porn article - one should point the to the fact that they accidentally agree with some feminists in that regard. It'll be hysterical!

Re:Think of the women and children (3, Funny)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887853)

I used to troll them, years back. Then they decided, entirely seriously, the Hitler and most of the Nazi party were gay, and that the holocaust was secretly a homosexual conspiracy to exterminate the jews for their belief in Leviticus. At that point I realised that nothing I could write could be half as crazy as what the legitimate users believe.

Re:Think of the women and children (1)

Riddler Sensei (979333) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887641)

Huh, I had never even heard of this (thankfully). Any sort of bias aside I found that while randoming about that it's contents are woefully anemic. Entries such as "library" come with very little at all, and on top of that any history or development on subjects focus solely on American aspects.

I wish I could say that I'd be surprised if anyone decided to use this, but humanity has a knack for letting everyone down.

Re:Think of the women and children (1)

FrootLoops (1817694) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887749)

any history or development on subjects focus solely on American aspects.

Actually that's part of the point. From their Quick Reference [conservapedia.com] page,

Conservapedia articles' tone, style, and content should be written with an American, conservative and/or Christian orientation or focus.

Re:Think of the women and children (1)

FrootLoops (1817694) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887705)

"pornography leads to terrible crimes against women"

Gay porn doesn't. I'm sure "The Trustworthy Encyclopedia" mentions this somewhere, or soon will :).

Re:Think of the women and children (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887867)

When I last checked, the article on 'sex' was about two pages, half of which was under 'sex in the bible.' The article on homosexuality was the size of a small novel, and seventy sections had grown so long they had to be spun off into their own 'homosexuality and X' articles.

Is that a meme or a computer virus? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887469)

Religious Sites "Riskier Than Porn For Viruses"

Is that the risk of a meme or a computer virus?

Original report (5, Informative)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887513)

The original report is here [symantec.com] . The relevant paragraph says:

It is interesting to note that Web sites hosting adult/pornographic content are not in the top five, but ranked tenth. The full list can be seen in figure 16. Moreover, religious and ideological sites were found to have triple the average number of threats per infected site than adult/pornographic sites. We hypothesize that this is because 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.

Figure 16, interestingly, does not show religious and ideological sites, I assume it is grouped with "Education/Reference". The full top 10 is

  1. Blogs/Web Communications
  2. Hosting/Personal hosted sites
  3. Business/ Economy
  4. Shopping
  5. Education/ Reference
  6. Technology Computer & Internet
  7. Entertainment & Music
  8. Automotive
  9. Health & Medicine
  10. Pornography

Re:Original report (3, Interesting)

Grygus (1143095) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887585)

Wait. Triple the average number of threats per infected site doesn't mean that you're more likely to get a virus by visiting one of those sites; it means that you're more likely to get multiple infections from a site that is infected, but that is not the same thing at all. You might get a similar result if 99% of all religious sites were safe, but each of the other 1% had every virus and worm in the wild, for example - infections per bad site are extreme, but you'd still be 99% safe visiting those kinds of sites.

Combine that with the fact that this isn't even a category in the top 10, and this whole story feels made up to me.

Re:Original report (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39887915)

lets break 'em down...

        Blogs/Web Communications
blogs sprout-up by the 1000s every day for the sole purpose of stuffing keywords and creating link/adwords farms -- spreading malware.

        Hosting/Personal hosted sites
personal sites, i'd guess, are poorly maintained and run more vulnerable software and scripts.

        Business/ Economy
make money fast, work at home schemes.... easy targets

        Shopping
lots of bogus sites out there.. easy targets.

        Education/ Reference
lots of wiki sites and clones used to spread malware. if religion sites are mixed in here, the reason it's ahead of porn is the sites are set up and run by fucking idiots and are less secure, similar to personal sites.

        Technology Computer & Internet
lots of fake antivirus info sites that distribute/advertise dubious antivirus products or are just flat-out malicious.

        Entertainment & Music
lots of idiots search for 'free' stuff here.. easy targets

        Automotive
dunno why this one makes the list.

        Health & Medicine
bogus pharms. health/med reference sites would fit into the above reference cat too and their users make for easy targets

        Pornography
multibillion dollar industry with money to throw at hardware, servers and upkeep.

Makes sense to me. (1)

darkonc (47285) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887537)

Religious and ideological site users (and designers) are much less likely to be technologically savy.

Click here if you love jesus! [viruses-are-us.net] is pretty likely to get a good number of hits on a religious site -- similarly for Obama haters (or lovers). It's a reflex action that will get these people in some really hot water.

Porn site users, on the other hand, are a bit more jaded.

FUD (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887565)

Rather than trying to keep in mind which sites not to visit you could just upgrade your browser to a version that can't be hacked by a website. Of course, AV companies would get far less money without naive people believing their FUD.

Re:FUD (1)

GuldKalle (1065310) | more than 2 years ago | (#39888043)

A browser that can't/won't download an .exe is a poor way of implementing security.

so that means slashdot is infecting me right now? (1)

jdogalt (961241) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887647)

Since I've been 'religiously' reading slashdot for over a decade now, incalculably more regularly than I've gone to church, shall I assume that slashdot is likely delivering me malware right now?

Seriously, since CmdrTaco left, and to be honest, many years prior to that and the recent SlashBI goodness, things have been going way downhill. This past year I've still skimmed each 600+ post global warming article, because it seems important enough, and the slashdot flamefests, despite the signal to noise ratio, sadly seem more intelligent than any other conversation on the topic. But threads like this, where every last highly moderated comment seems like nothing more than a troll-response bounty for the pageview-centric new management... Ehh. If there is one comment that breaks me of my slashdot religion, it was probably the first Score:5 comment on this thread- "Obama ate a a dog!". I guess the planet will just have to burn...

http://tech.slashdot.org/story/12/04/28/2214228/google-releases-fcc-report-on-street-view-probe [slashdot.org]

Re:so that means slashdot is infecting me right no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39887677)

P.S., I may be a bit intoxicated, but I have no idea how that repitition just occurred. Probably the same way Google's stupid instant search causes typos at a 10+% rate because it can't keep up with my typing speed which is too far from the mainstream herd they care about. The internet sucks, boo, get off my lawn...

Free Porn? (1)

dohzer (867770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887695)

Do they mean *free* porn sites, or *paid* porn sites?
There's definitely a difference.

So by deduction (1)

Grayhand (2610049) | more than 2 years ago | (#39887717)

Atheist porn fans have less malware. The benefits to not being a religious prude just keep on a coming.

voluntary vs commercial (2)

speculatrix (678524) | more than 2 years ago | (#39888095)

I have met many clever people who are members of churches, but their time given to their churches is voluntary.

Often the equipment has been donated as well, and so is usually not particularly modern either.

The website design is usually managed by a committee, as is the choice of hosting provider, and costs are kept to a minimum.

The net result is that once the web site is finally done, it may be neglected, or someone inherits the responsibility for it who knows little about its history, and might be more secretarial than technical. Thus security updates get neglected, and quite often there are many user accounts with weak passwords.

Actual Symantec report: nothing like reporting (5, Informative)

fsgtae (122880) | more than 2 years ago | (#39888121)

The Symantec report, the Internet Security Threat Report, 2011 Trends, did not say what the article in the OP claims.

The actual report is here: http://www.symantec.com/content/en/us/enterprise/other_resources/b-istr_main_report_2011_21239364.en-us.pdf [symantec.com] . Page 33 of the report, the only discussion of religion, states

"religious and ideological sites were found to have triple the average number of threats per infected site than
adult/pornographic sites."

Three points:

1. The report lumps religious and ideological sites together. Maybe the infected sites were ideological (non-religious) sites. You cannot conclude anything about religious sites at all from that statistic.

2. The report implies nothing about the safety of religious/ideological sites. It just says that if a religious/ideological site is infected, then it has more threats on average than an infected adult site. If the percentage of religious/ideological sites that are infected is lower than the percentage of adult sites that are infected, then religious/ideological sites could be much safer on average. Indeed, figure 16 on page 36 of the report doesn't list religous/ideological sites as dangerous. The point is that the safety of religious/ideological sites as a whole must account for uninfected sites. The "number of threats per infected site" is just about irrelevant.

3. If there is any limit to the gullibility or statistical illiteracy of internet users, I have yet to perceive it.

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