A few days ago, I received in my inbox something that appeared to be a notification from YouTube™ regarding some not-too-ok content that I'd uploaded and broadcast through my channel. Weird thing, this actually arrived on the same e-mail address that I used to register on the video sharing platform so it seemed to be quite legit. Quite, but not entirely, as you can see in the screenshot below.
Figure 1 – A fake illegal video warning e-mail, purportedly sent on behalf of YouTube.
Aside from the telegraphic style, which is odd enough for such an important legal issue as the one invoked by the alleged warning, what struck me was that any of the links purporting to lead to the video sharing platform actually directed me towards a Web site registered in Spain. To make sure, I logged in to my YouTube account and, as I had suspected, there was no such thing as a warning or any other message from the platform administrators.
Where was I supposed to land if I had followed the links in the spam e-mail? As you can see below, my destination would have been the Web page of a “drugstore”, which, judging by the flag in the background of the header photo, is probably a sibling of the old Canadian pharmacy pages that allegedly sell all sorts of male potency enhancements pills.
Figure 2 – The landing page of the alleged drugstore – nothing to do with my videos. It could have been malware instead of pills!
A few words of advice: if you receive an e-mail from a Web service that you use (e-mail, photo and video sharing, social networks etc.) whereby you are required to do anything by following a link within the body of the message, please first do check the legitimacy of that message with your provider. Chances are that you land on pages spreading malware or other e-threats instead of Web sites advertising drugs, jewels or replicas. By all means, if you don't have a reliable antimalware defensive suite, install one. There’s a special 40-day free trial version of the best security solution currently on the market, BitDefender Internet Security 2011. Give it a try!
Safe surfing everybody!
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