Monday, May 25, 2009

 

Sex on YouTube - Porn Attack and Malspam




Last year I wrote an article about Sex on YouTube to warn parents about how easily their children could stumble upon things on the popular video sharing site that they probably wouldn't want them to see. This article continues to be one of the most popular articles on the LookingForClues article collection website. Here is an urgent update to warn everyone about the kinds of things that can be found on YouTube today, based on news reports that came out this Memorial Day weekend.

YouTube is the most popular and largest video sharing website, and Google, the site's owner, does a very good job of keeping the site free from porn. But it's not perfect. With over 20 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, it is impossible to screen it all for objectionable content. There is a certain amount of automatic screening based on video titles, descriptions and tags. But many videos make it though this filter. So YouTube relies on its members to flag unacceptable videos. But this process of member flagging and manual review by YouTube employees takes time.

Over the last few days, there have been several news reports about a "Porn Hack" attack carried out against YouTube. A group called 4Chan which runs an image-sharing message board uploaded what may number in the thousands of videos that begin as harmless music videos which soon cut to scenes of nudity and group sex. The titles, descriptions and tags indicate that the videos are of popular recording artists such as Hannah Montana and the Jonas Brothers. If a visitor clicks on one of these videos, they see the beginning of a music video by one of these musicians who are popular with young people. Soon the content changes to adults participating in group sex acts, according to the BBC.

YouTube is aware of the problem but is only able to address it through their flagging system. It may take days or even weeks to remove all of the offending material. Let this be a reminder to parents that YouTube does contain some material that is not suitable for children!

For more information, see this news story.

As I have stated, YouTube generally does a good job of keeping porn off it's site. But there are a lot of videos which are nearly porn and are used to advertise for sex sites of all kinds. If a person searches YouTube using keywords such as kinky, porn, sex, and girl, they may encounter comments under the resulting videos which contain "Malspam." Malspam is malicious spam which consists of a link to a website that attempts to infect the visitor's computer with viruses. It has been reported that over 30,000 videos on YouTube have links to these kinds of sites in their comments! Do not download any programs from links on YouTube. You may end up with an infected computer.

Another type of download appears to be a real anti-vrus program. One of the most common malspam links on YouTube points to a site where visitors are advised to download a program called PrivacyCenter (read more about it, here). This is a fake anti-virus program that tells the user that they have many viruses on their computer even if they have no viruses. It then tells the user the problems will be fixed if they buy the premium version of the application. Do NOT download this fake program; all it gets rid of is your money!

For more information, see this new story.

Beware of any links you may encounter in the comments to any video. And be sure to warn your children not to go to any websites mentioned in comments on YouTube. Enjoy watching the many interesting and entertaining videos on YouTube (like the ones we talk about on this blog) but be careful if you let your children go on this popular website. You never know what they may end up watching!

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Comments:
Thanks for the warning! I have a brand new baby girl and I can only imagine what technology will be like when she's a pre-teen. I don't understand what these hackers get out of misleading children by using lures such as Hannah Montana, etc. and then switching to porn? What do the hackers get out of exposing kids to this garbage? I don't even want to know. It just sickens me. Well, thanks again for the warning!
 

Shut up let them watch it
 

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