Thinking of watching the latest viral video on YouTube? Look out, you could end up with a virus on your computer.
A program is being used by criminals to create fake YouTube pages. Once the page is created, an e-mail with a link to the fake video page is sent to users. Part of the scam involves prompting the user to download additional software in order to view the video.
"A program circulating online helps hackers build those fake pages. Users who follow an e-mail pointing them to one of the pages would see an error message that claims the video they want won't play without installing new software first. That error message includes a link the hacker has provided to a malicious program, which delivers a virus.
Even worse: once the computer is infected, it's simple for the hacker to silently redirect the victims to a real YouTube page to see videos they were hoping to see — and hide the crime.
"It's spot-on accurate, and that is scary," said Jamz Yaneza, threat research manager for security software company Trend Micro Inc. "If I were watching YouTube videos all day I would probably click on this one." [ Via Yahoo Tech]
This new exploit discovered by Trend Micro is named HKTL_FAKEYOUT, and so far it appears there is only a Spanish-language version of the tool. In September, Panda Security discovered a similar program named YTFakeCreator.
It is always a good idea to check the URLs of the pages you are viewing, many times you can tell the page is not legit by looking at the web address.
If you really need to watch the latest ninja cat video, you can always go directly to YouTube's Web site and do a search. However, I take no responsibility for any other videos that may appear in your search.
Hint: Never do a search for a dancing burrito. You have been warned...you are still going to do it, aren't you?
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