YouTube has a big security problem and it could easily become yours - The UpStream

YouTube has a big security problem and it could easily become yours

posted Sunday May 17, 2020 by Scott Ertz

YouTube has a big security problem and it could easily become yours

If you have a YouTube channel, you're about to read something that will likely upset you: "wanna be friends?" This comment has been absolutely rampant across the site, appearing on almost every video posted for months. Many creators have noticed that the comment can appear before a video is even made public, suggesting that there is something unsavory going on. Well, that fear is completely justified, as the result of the comment is far worse than just being obnoxious.

First, let me state - DO NOT INTERACT WITH THIS COMMENT. Content creators who have interacted with this comment, either replying or subscribing to the channel behind it, have reported losing access to their channels. These accounts are then added to the comment bot farm that has kept the channel in the spotlight on YouTube - comments on the channel's videos. These comments are never valuable, but value is not part of the YouTube algorithm.

If you check the views on the channel's videos (which we will not link to for security reasons), you will see something peculiar. A video, which is just over a minute long, and simply asks the viewer to subscribe has tens of thousands of views. This is suspicious because this type of video tends to get about 12 views. No one wants to see a video asking for a subscription with no content. Yet, this channel completely bucks that trend, likely because of its use of hijacked accounts to comment on its videos.

One channel, who was subsequently hijacked, did a deep dive into the problem. He showed the oddities of the channel, including the subscribe video's view count, and the average views on the videos that do feature content. However, the content is vague and nonsensical, leading to absolutely nothing. In response to the growing movement behind #YoutubersAtRisk, YouTube has begun to investigate and look for a solution to the problem. All of our comments from this channel are now gone and we were unable to find the comment on other videos, despite its popularity a few days ago. Hopefully, the issue is over, but it is important to secure your YouTube account anyway in case something like this happens again.


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