Hackers are uploading illegal YouTube how-tos with approved Google ads

By Dieter Holger ยท 19 replies
Jul 31, 2015
Post New Reply
  1. [parsehtml]<p><img alt="" src="https://www.techspot.com/images2/news/bigimage/2015/03/2015-03-03_01-57-02.jpg" /></p> <p>Hackers are uploading thousands of YouTube videos that show how to break into webcams with easily accessible software, says a <a href="https://media.gractions.com/314A5A5A9ABBBBC5E3BD824CF47C46EF4B9D3A76/07027202-8151-4903-9c40-b6a8503743aa.pdf">report from Digital Citizen&#39;s Alliance</a>. Despite these hacking tactics being illegal, 38 percent of the YouTube tutorials are approved for ads that bring in cash for the hackers and Google.</p> <p>The videos -- which can be as short as 7-minutes -- demonstrate how to use &quot;ratter&quot; hacking programs, known formally as remote administrative software (RAT). Downloads to RAT software are linked in the description or video of the hacking tutorials. RAT software can be as cheap as $10, making it easy for the average Joe to become a hacker.</p> <p>Some of the hacking video tutorials only go through the necessary steps, while others <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/sheerafrenkel/hackers-are-increasingly-posting-tutorials-to-youtube-and-ma#.pdQlZ5bMO">shamelessly include clips</a> of female victims. One video shows a young woman in front of her webcam in pajamas, another shows a teenage girl yelling, &quot;Mom, I think that camera is picking up creepy stuff. I think somebody hacked that camera!&quot;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://www.techspot.com/images2/news/bigimage/2015/07/2015-07-30-image-2.png" /></p> <p>The same research from Digital Citizen&#39;s Alliance estimates you can sell access to a female&#39;s computer for $5, five times more than a male&#39;s.</p> <p>According to YouTube&#39;s <a href="http://support.google.com/youtube/answer/72851?hl=en">advertising guidelines</a> every video must be approved to run ads, however the report details that four out of ten hacking tutorials feature Google AdSense, raising alarming concerns about YouTube&#39;s vetting process. The YouTube ads included common Google sponsors like American Express, The Wall Street Journal, Acura and even <a href="https://www.techspot.com/review/1022-batman-arkham-knight-benchmarks/">Batman: Arkham Knight</a>.</p> <p>TechSpot has reached out to YouTube and Google for comment, we&#39;ll update the post with their response.</p><p><a rel='alternate' href='https://www.techspot.com/news/61588-hackers-uploading-illegal-youtube-how-tos-approved-google.html' target='_blank'>Permalink to story.</a></p><p class='permalink'><a rel='alternate' href='https://www.techspot.com/news/61588-hackers-uploading-illegal-youtube-how-tos-approved-google.html'>https://www.techspot.com/news/61588-hackers-uploading-illegal-youtube-how-tos-approved-google.html</a></p>[/parsehtml]
  2. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,737   +3,757

    So.... can these hacks be used to snoop on MFC private shows?

    I'll see myself out.
  3. RzmmDX

    RzmmDX TS Guru Posts: 313   +67

    More reason to use AD blocking software.
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,005   +2,532

    This makes a great deal of sense, as watching "manscaping", is not normally considered a spectator sport!....:oops:
    davislane1 likes this.
  5. Satish Mallya

    Satish Mallya TS Maniac Posts: 150   +118

    The sharing of information about how to do something illegal is not, in itself, illegal.
    If it were, the security community would end up behind bars real quick, what with publishing details of various exploits.
    This is no different, and the information can be used offensively or defensively.
    I'm also going to point out that this very article is doing exactly what those tutorials do - allowing access to information about how to perform illegal activities - with ads running ;)
    davislane1 likes this.
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,005   +2,532

    That kind of depends. And since I rather enjoy the idea of posting for sensationalism, while masking it with a lecture on morality, stay tuned, I'll show you how it's done.;)
    Are you still with me?

    Cranky's Guide to the Construction of a Nuclear Fusion Bomb.....

    Step one: Build a conventional explosive device capable of generating enough pressure to precipitate the onset of nuclear fission in certain uranium isotopes. (Best bet here, U-235).

    Step two: Build a fission device, (AKA, "the bomb"), capable of generating high enough temperature and pressure, to cause the onset of "nuclear fusion".

    Step three: Construct a vessel which contains deuterium: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heavy_water, and surround it with vessels containing step 1 & 2 devices.

    Step four" design a triggering device to detonate the convention explosive device of step one.

    Step five: push the detonator button. (For best results and personal survival, use an iPhone 6 remotely to signal the detonator. Because everybody knows, the best phone would make the best remote trigger.

    Step 6: Kick back and enjoy the light show.....:cool:

    Now, all of the foregoing illustrates how a fusion bomb (AKA "hydrogen bomb") works.

    I told you "how it's done", but, I certainly didn't give you enough information to tell you, "how to do it".

    There's a big difference, both functionally and semantically.

    And I daresay this article only goes far enough to explain, "how it's done".

    Moving on, the actual documents which describe the construction and plans for building nuclear weapon(s) are classified. As such, it is quite illegal to disseminate them under any circumstance. It think it's called, "treason", and if committed during war time, it can result in a death sentence.

    So it really is illegal to distribute certain, "DIY" manuals, under penalty of death..:eek:
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2015
  7. Satish Mallya

    Satish Mallya TS Maniac Posts: 150   +118

    You have something of a point, but it's not very strong.

    Wikipedia, for instance, has articles on how to concoct various explosives, mostly ww2 era explosives. I guarantee literally every encyclopaedia on earth will tell you how to produce nitrocellulose (smokeless powder) and nitroglycerin (dynamite, pretty much).
    I don't see how these tutorials are any different.
    They are irresponsible in intent, but almost certainly not illegal.

    Again, the security community releases vulnerabilities on a regular basis, often with accompanying 'proof of concept' code that would be trivial to repurpose for an actual attack.

    Unethical? Sure. Irresponsible? Almost certainly. Illegal? Probably not.
  8. JonnDoe

    JonnDoe TS Rookie

    O.K. the lesson learned here Is.......cover your web cam when not actively using IT!
    A piece of paper,a towel,tape even a sticky note will do you don't need to wait for the next
    "AS SEEN ON TV" product.
    Hell If you're adventurous hard-wire an off switch Into the usb cable, love to see someone remotely access that.
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,005   +2,532

    Well I don't know, I'm a trifle bit offended that hacking my webcam is only worth a buck. Since I'm an old man I'm lucky if I'm worth fifty cents in the "live sex show" arena.

    It makes me so mad, I want to hack the camera myself, just so I can stick my junk in it.
  10. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,737   +3,757

    ^^^ DILF upset he's not a MILF.
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,005   +2,532

    Speaking of a DILF morphing into a M-I-W-Not.-L-F, do you think Jenner became Caitlin, more for the money, the attention, or to try and avoid prostate cancer?

    All shim's gotta do now is get the old caboose pumped full of about 55 gallons of silicone, find a willing hip-hop artist to date, then start taking selfies every 5 minutes or so, That should draw at least some of the viewing audience away from stepdaughter Kim! (y)

    But, I still wouldn't pay a buck to hack his/her webcam. And we're back on topic....., sort of.:oops:
  12. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,005   +2,532

    OK, it's sort of a childhood rite of passage to know that potassium nitrate, sulfur, and carbon black can be mixed to form at least some form of gunpowder.

    As for nitroglycerin, if the stories in the old cowboy movies about its instability are anywhere near factual, you don't want to mess with it. The reason being, it is phenomenally unstable. In fact, I think that's why dynamite is dynamite, when solidified, nitro can be transported.

    In the drug world, chemicals that can be used to concoct drugs, are known as "precursors", and pretty much carry the same penalty as the finished product.

    I propose that distributing malware, but not using it yourself, could be made illegal via a similar set of statutes. And remember, if all else fails, the G-men can get you a nickel on "conspiracy". "Conspiracy", is sort of a "one size fits all", criminal statute. It comes quite close to what was described in "1984, as, "crime think".
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2015
  13. JonnDoe

    JonnDoe TS Rookie

    HEY..HEY I'm not flashing you or anybody my man boobs for less then $9.99 a minute so PAY up or shut up.
  14. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,005   +2,532

    OK boyz & girlz, this should serve to illustrate how little the once mighty US dollar buys these days.
  15. Satish Mallya

    Satish Mallya TS Maniac Posts: 150   +118

    Distributing malware - now that's a tricky one. What is it when you upload a virus sample to your AV vendor?
    How about an innocent program that could be used as malware?
    For instance, a hard drive debugger could be repurposed to irrevocably brick a drive.
    The fact that information disseminated could be used for illegal purposes does not make the information itself illegal.
    If I figured out how to make a nuke tomorrow, and published my results, there would be nothing illegal about it. That is different from releasing information developed by the government for classified military use.

    I maintain that there is nothing wrong in publishing malware, as the fact that it is public makes it trivial to counter. Keeping it secret - now that could do a lot more harm for a lot longer.
  16. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,005   +2,532

    It seems impossible for you to distinguish between sharing information about malware to combat it, and overtly selling it for the express purpose of committing illegal acts.

    It revolves around intent, if I accidentally kill someone with my car, then I'd likely get charged with," involuntary manslaughter", if I ran my car up on the pavement to kill him over a prior dispute, I would justifiably be charged with 1st degree murder. Go ahead and spout all the liberal crap you choose, but intent still plays a big role in determining whether or not a crime has been committed.

    It seems we have hit the stumbling blocks of both comprehension, and an argument of convenience on your part.

    Why do I get the feeling any minute now, you're going to tell me Edward Snowden didn't do anything wrong? Trust me, we differ on that as well.
  17. Satish Mallya

    Satish Mallya TS Maniac Posts: 150   +118

    It's not illegal to sell lockpicks. One might argue that the intent of a lockpick is to pick locks, and that a seller is thus selling it for expressly that purpose.

    The thing about intent is that it is very hard to prove.

    I will agree with you in that what the video uploaders are doing in this specific case is malicious. However, it is almost certainly not illegal.

    As for Snowden, I do, in fact, believe he did nothing wrong. When faced with not just immoral, but outright illegal activities, the correct thing to do is to expose them.

    Any morally upstanding person would tell you the same, regardless of political orientation.
  18. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,005   +2,532

    I found this on a quick search for "lock picks for sale".

    The following text is in response to a request for "key codes". (the numerical sequences used to cut a key when no original is available to duplicate).

    "before codes can be provided, you must submit the following: driver's license (each user must have a clear copy), business license, locksmith license (or recovery license where applicable). The normal time needed to process a code request is 15 to 30 minutes. Exceptions and longer times may occur. Not all codes are available after 6PM (Central). A BROCKHAGE Key Code Service representative will contact you by phone, email, or fax when the requested code is available. BROCKHAGE Key Code Service is not responsible if the codes are no longer compatible with any locks or engine control computers that have been installed after the initial production date. Please allow up to 3 business days for approval of your application".

    So you'll do me the courtesy of providing another example, since there are in fact, controls in place to regulate at least some of the tools required by a locksmith.

    I'm looking forward to seeing where all this contradictory talk about of "freedom of information", and "right to privacy" goes in the future. When you see the two terms together, they appear almost mutually exclusive.

    Me, I hope when you check in on your kids bedroom to see if they're home, safe, and in bed, and they sue you for stalking and invasion of privacy. Then publish your credit card numbers on the web for revenge.

    And remember, it wouldn't be a crime, (at least according to you), to do exactly that.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2015
  19. Satish Mallya

    Satish Mallya TS Maniac Posts: 150   +118


    There you go.

    There are people who believe all information should be free - as in public to access. I am not one of those people. However, I do believe that if you make information - that you yourself are the creator of - publicly available, that should be allowed under almost all circumstances. That is freedom of speech, not freedom of information.

    To (mis)quote a greater man than I 'I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it'.
  20. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,005   +2,532

    And the page won't load correctly. And I'm signed in too. No matter, you probably buy lockpicks.

    They tell me one of the best treatises on "freedom of speech" was written by attorney Alan Dershowitz called, "Shouting Fire: Civil Liberties in a turbulent age".

    Since I've never read it, I have no idea who he might agree with , you, me, or either of us on different points.

    At any rate, it can be had on Amazon for as little as a penny: http://www.amazon.com/Shouting-Fire-Civil-Liberties-Turbulent/dp/0316181412 (Plus $3.99 shipping, of course).

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...