Photo: Some websites will leave your computer infected with viruses or worms, but the "black holes" are just as bad (Image: Image Source / Rex)
From New Scientist:
There are plenty of places online that you would do well to steer clear of. A brief visit to some unsavoury websites, for instance, could leave your computer infected with worms or viruses. Then there are the "black holes" to worry about.
If your emails mysteriously disappear, or your favourite website is suddenly unobtainable, you might have run into one. Though nowhere near as destructive as their cosmological cousins, information black holes can create all kinds of problems for surfers. Essentially they are points on the network at which data packets simply disappear due to broken connections, say, or misconfigured routers - devices that maintain lists of addresses and which help direct internet traffic. A team including computer scientist Ethan Katz-Bassett at the University of Washington in Seattle has detected almost 1.5 million black holes since it began looking in 2007. The majority persist for over 2 hours, he says. Unfortunately it is tough to predict where they will appear next, so it's hard for the average surfer to avoid them.
Read more ....