Spammers turn YouTube into spam relay channel
Will anyone notice the difference?
Miscreants have turned a YouTube service into a spam relay channel.
YouTube contains a facility that allows users to invite their friends to view videos that they are looking at or have posted. This "Invite Your Friends" system is being used to send out "massive quantities of spam", according to content security outfit Marshall.
The messages, which all come from firstname.lastname@example.org, have the same appearance as a legitimate YouTube invite, except they contain pitches for tat such as penis pills and get-rich quick schemes instead of links to online video tat. Both could be considered forms of junk anyway which partly explains why cybercriminals have adopted the tactic.
"Spammers are doing this to defeat spam filters and to lower the recipient’s guard by making it look as though the messages are coming from a perfectly innocuous email address. YouTube’s own Help Centre suggests that you exclude the email@example.com email address from spam filtering. The spammers are keenly aware of this," said Bradley Anstis, Marshall’s director of product management.
In August, spammers used a Trojan to automatically generate large numbers of Hotmail and Gmail accounts from which to send spam. The YouTube attack is working on the same principle, according to Marshall.
Sending junk mail from compromised Windows boxes under the control of hackers has become the most popular method to send spam over recent years. But spammers are always looking for new techniques to ensure that their junk mail messages get through. Before botnets entered the scene the use of insecure corporate mail servers that provided "open relays" was widely used by spammers. In some ways the YouTube attack put a Web 2.0 spin on an approach that ceased to be effective, thanks to improved corporate security and block lists. ®
"However, I would support a law which confiscated 100% of the business assets of any business which paid a spammer to advertise for them"
If that was passed, all I'd have to do to eliminate our company's competition then is to pay a spammer to advertise them. Under that law, our competition gets shut down and we corner the market! Wow, imagine all the companies charitably paying for each others' spamvertising... imagine the chaos!
Cool. I second your call for a law like that... ;-)
There is another reason...
This may not only be Spam, looking at the example on our Website they are trying to suck you into visiting a website and registering for a free XBox 360 you are supposed to have won, pretty much gurrantee that they are either gathering personal information for idenity theft, or installing a trojan!
Er, hang on...
So, yer immersed in yer Web 2.0 experience and you find that you're being showered with messages about crap from useless tossers.
Question: How do you tell that this is spam and not just another day in virtual lala land? There's not a lot of difference between "Buy our humungous-todger pills" and "Look at my video of me inhaling cornflakes" IMHO.