Online Video May Be Virus Writers' Next Target

A new study from Georgia Tech indicates that online videos may be the newest way for attackers to load viruses onto the computers of unsuspecting victims.

The report was released Tuesday ahead of the annual security conference the school holds each year. Some 300 experts and professors are expected to attend, and will discuss new security threats and prevention measures.

What may make online videos an attractive new way to deliver malware is their ever-increasing popularity. Video sites such as YouTube are some of the fastest growing on the Web, and could deliver their payloads to thousands within hours if it is done right.

In fact, some attackers have attempted to lure consumers through fake video links posted to YouTube. However, the number of successful hacks via online video still remains quite small.

In an interview with the Associated Press, IBM chief technology officer and report co-author Chris Rouland said the move towards video is part of an evolution in how hackers are operating. He said these new ways are popping up due to the success in fighting e-mail attacks, forcing hackers to be more creative.

"The next logical step seems to be the media players," he says.

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