Virus risk for YouTube usersYouTube videos redirect viewers to malware site

23 May 2009

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Thousands of YouTube videos could redirect people to web pages infected with malicious software or malware, according to experts.

PandaLabs claims it has detected up to 4,900 videos on YouTube with comments containing links that point to a web page designed to download malware. Many of the comments claim to take users to a legal UK website showing pornographic images. By clicking on the link people are redirected to a spoof website. Once there they are prompted to download a file in order to view the video but will instead be installing a copy of the PrivacyCenter fake anti-virus software.

This malware, when run on a computer, pretends to scan the system, supposedly detecting dozens of (non-existent) viruses. It then offers users the chance to buy the paid version of the anti-virus to clean their computers. The ultimate aim of cyber-crooks is to profit from the sale of this ‘Premium’ version.

‘The technique of using malicious comments on YouTube is not new [but] what is alarming however is the quantity of links we have detected pointing to the same web page. This suggests that cyber-criminals are using automated tools to publish these comments’, explains Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs.

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