Feeds

Spammers turn YouTube into spam relay channel

Will anyone notice the difference?

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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 service@youtube.com, 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 service@youtube.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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.