Videos promoting free downloads of paid programs should be treated with caution.
Malware content produced with artificial intelligence has grown by 200-300 percent every month on YouTube, a video service owned by Google. The increase has been observed since November last year. This was reported by an information security company specializing in artificial intelligence CouldSEK.
Cracked software is not a new phenomenon
The video content guides users on how to download paid programs such as Adobe’s Photoshop, Premiere Pro or AutoCAD to the computer and use them cracked without paying for a software license.
In reality, the instructions entice the user to download malware onto their computer.
– This is not a new thing in itself, that malicious content is hidden in cracked programs. Advertising these in this way is a new phenomenon, a special expert at the Traficom Cybersecurity Center of the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Yuha Tretyakov tells Iltalehte.
The malware is called Vidar, RedLine and Raccoon. These aim to steal the user’s important and personal information, such as online banking login credentials or other passwords.
Tretyakov says that no such cases have been reported to the Cyber Security Center. However, they are aware of the phenomenon.
The Cybersecurity Center reminds that the surest way to avoid malware in such cases is to pay for a software license and download the software you need from the developer’s own website.
The talking head guides
According to CloudSEK, videos produced by artificial intelligence that show a person arouse trust and identification in viewers. Popular services for making videos are Synthesia and D-ID.
– Using machine learning and artificial intelligence, various contents are produced in ever-increasing amounts. This is used for both legal and illegal purposes, says Tretyakov.
Similar videos are produced a lot. The talking head produced by artificial intelligence is used, for example, in training videos and advertising videos. In addition to YouTube, videos are also produced for, for example, Instagram or Twitter.
The race between viruses and antivirus programs
Malware developers have their hands full developing malware code to evade the computer’s ever-updating antivirus software.
Youtube is an effective way to spread malware due to its large number of users. Users report scam accounts sensitively, which leads to the banning of the scam account from the service.
According to CloudSEK, scammers also use account hijacking. Especially popular accounts with more than a hundred thousand subscribers are favorite targets of fraudsters. With these, the malware gains visibility a lot and quickly.
Less active users may not notice account hijacking until several months later.