No Paid Software Is Free! AI-Generated YouTube Videos Spreading Malware Through Links
AI-generated videos on YouTube are spreading malware. According to a research team at CloudSEK, there has been a 200-300% month-on-month increase in YouTube videos that contain links to stealer malware, a Trojan that gathers information like usernames and passwords from unsuspecting users.
The videos spotted by researchers are masked as tutorials on ways to download free versions of software like Adobe Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Autodesk 3ds Max, AutoCAD, etc. that are only available to paid users.
Threat actors are reportedly employing a series of tactics to plant malicious software in people's devices. Their methods include sharing screen recordings, audio walkthroughs, and AI-generated personas that come off as trustworthy to users.
Such videos generated by artificial intelligence tools using synthetic personas have taken the internet ecosystem by storm very recently - mostly used by companies for promotional purposes, and naturally by threat actors to steal user information.
Example of an AI-generated video / CloudSEK
Infostealers can steal information like passwords, credit card information, bank account numbers, and more from users if they mistakenly end up clicking on a malicious link that downloads a file. Once the information is stolen, it is shared with the attacker's server.
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This is a worrying trend, given that YouTube has over 2.5 billion active monthly users, and it's not a stretch to assume that not everyone on the platform is well-versed in ways to protect yourself from threat actors.
Your best bet is to never install files from unverified sources. Most software that are usually paid but are being offered for free could be dangerous to download and use. According to CloudSEK, threat actors use certain methods to evade YouTube's algorithm and review process, such as using region-specific tags, writing fake comments to add legitimacy, and continuously uploading videos to keep up with take downs.
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The research found that 5-10 crack software download videos with malicious links are uploaded to YouTube every hour. If a video leads you to an unverified link, it's best to steer clear and report it, especially if a link-shortening tool already hides the real URL.
What do you think about the dangers of AI-generated personas on platforms like YouTube? Let us know in the comments below. For more in the world of technology and science, keep reading Indiatimes.com.