Cybercriminal gangs have been using tutorial videos to steal data from unsuspecting users on YouTube for months, and they are getting smarter.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)’s Computer Security Incident Response Team released a statement to this effect on Sunday.
According to the NCC, these cybercriminal gangs employ artificial intelligence to generate these tutorial videos, then include links to resources and pirated software. Acquiring these resources from the YouTube videos increases the risks of malware attack.
The NCC said, “The consequences of falling victim can be significant for individuals and organizations, resulting in critical damage like data theft, financial loss, identity theft, system damage, and reputation damage.
“… Victims who watch these AI-generated tutorial videos will be duped into clicking on one of the links in the video description, which usually results in the download of data-stealing malware. The number of YouTube videos containing such links has increased by 200-300% months on month since November 2022.”
These AI-generated videos on YouTube may appear harmless, entertaining and instructive, but they contain malicious codes which can infect any device that plays or downloads them.
NCC’s advisory warns that these videos are frequently used to trick viewers into downloading malware.
Victims can also be entrapped in phishing scams through stolen personal information and credentials.
“To stimulate the interest of potential victims, video tutorials on how to pirate sought-after software such as AutoCAD, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere Pro, and other similar paid-for software are created. These videos are created with AI and feature humans with facial features that research has shown other humans find trustworthy,” NCC’s advisory read in part.
“The tutorials in these videos are frequently bogus and steer viewers to links in the description that led to information-stealing malware like Raccoon, Vidar, and RedLine.”
YouTube users must stop downloading pirated or suspicious software to reduce the risk of falling victim to the tutorial video ransomware attack.
NCC also advised users to install antivirus software with internet security, keep it up to date and be wary of clicking links within YouTube videos.
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