Next time when you are searching for tutorial videos on YouTube, be careful or you could end up watching one uploaded by cybercriminals.
According to an AI cybersecurity company, CloudSEK, cybercriminals are uploading tutorial videos to trick viewers into downloading malware onto their devices.
CloudSEK said the number of YouTube videos containing links to stealer malware, including Vidar, RedLine, and Raccoon, in their descriptions has increased by 200-300% on a month-on-month basis since November 2022.
These videos falsely claim to offer tutorials on how to download cracked versions of licensed software such as Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Autodesk 3ds Max, AutoCAD, and other products that are only available to paid users.
Typically, these videos show a screen recording or audio walkthrough of the steps required to download and install the software. However, cybercriminals are increasingly using AI-generated videos from platforms such as Synthesia and D-ID. These videos feature AI-generated personas and are appearing more trustworthy and familiar than videos without such personas.
This tactic is being used to attract viewers across different languages and platforms, including Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and for various purposes like recruitment, education, promotion, and now, also for spreading malware.
If you happen to click on the link in the video description, you run the risk of downloading malicious software that can steal sensitive information like credit card details, bank account numbers, passwords, and other confidential data.
It’s important to be cautious in general because these cybercriminals are also devising ways to hijack popular YouTube channels. They specifically target channels with over 100,000 subscribers to upload their videos and reach a wider audience. Although the uploaded videos are usually removed, and the original owners regain control of their channels within a few hours, this still leaves ample time for someone to click on the harmful link.