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Images tactics

IT security and data protection company Sophos has been assisting the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) in combating new methods used by child abusers to distribute illegal and offensive content online.  A report, published today by the IWF, identifies a new trend for ‘disguising’ websites so as to appear as if they host only legal content.  However, if an internet user follows a predetermined digital path which leads them to the website, they will see images and videos of children being sexually abused.

Sophos uses IWF data in its security hardware and routinely works with the IWF and other agencies in helping to identify the methods used by child abusers to share content, reporting the discovery of child abuse images online.

“It’s vitally important to invest in combating the inventiveness of child abusers,” said Mark Harris, VP SophosLabs and Global Engineering Operations – SophosLabs, Sophos’s network of threat intelligence centres.  “We intercept new methods of distributing images of abuse all too often, and we’re committed to reporting all instances to the authorities that identify perpetrators and rescue victims.”

The 2011 IWF Annual Report can be downloaded at

The IWF is the UK Hotline for reporting images of child sexual abuse, wherever they are hosted, and UK-hosted obscene adult content and non-photographic images of child sexual abuse. More information on the work of the IWF is available at

Sophos is based in Boston, US and Oxford, UK. More information is available at


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