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YouTube & Viruses

Community Veteran
Posts: 8,609
Thanks: 960
Fixes: 9
Registered: ‎02-08-2007

YouTube & Viruses

Is it possible to get infected with a virus when just viewing Youtube videos ? I Don't mean clicking on links that might appear or actually downloading a youtube video but just viewing it ?
4 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,911
Thanks: 139
Fixes: 25
Registered: ‎14-07-2009

Re: YouTube & Viruses

There is an interesting reply to this question here, two answers of yes and one of no http://askville.amazon.com/virus-watching-youtube-videos/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=4840624
In principle you can get a virus (or other malware) from any web site by one of two means:

  • The web site exploits a security hole in some of your web-enabled software

  • The web site tricks you into voluntarily downloading and installing the virus


However, if the web site is owned by a large enterprise like YouTube one would hope they have put in safeguards - as the third answer suggests - at least as far as the content actually on the web site is concerned..
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: YouTube & Viruses

I believe all videos submitted are re-processed by Google so any malicious payloads in the video file will get removed then, so infections from the video itself if downloaded should not happen.
The only thing to be wary of is going off the site via a link where the content cannot be guaranteed. I can't remember if links in comments are removed or not, which could be a potential issue if followed.
Community Veteran
Posts: 8,609
Thanks: 960
Fixes: 9
Registered: ‎02-08-2007

Re: YouTube & Viruses

Thanks for the responses, the link to askvilleamazon was very interesting.
I often get links to youtube in e-mails from people I know but never open any links mentioned in youtube videos
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,618
Thanks: 629
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎21-03-2011

Re: YouTube & Viruses

It depends on how up to date your operating system and application software is on your PC. It also depends on the efficacy of your anti-virus software.
It is possible to have virii (viruses(?)) or malware embedded in image files and video files. Just viewing the image can, with vulnerable software, trigger an infection. My business and government enterprises block jpg and video attachments on emails for just that reason. Essentially the hacker/virus writer sends an "badly formed" image file. A badly written image viewer will crash on attempting to open the image file leaving the way open for the virus to load some exploit code by inheriting the permissions of the viewer process that died. This is why the security people say NOT  to routinely use your PC when signed on as an administrator. If you are running a process as an administrator and the process is hacked the exploit inherits administrator rights. Good anti-virus software usually catch this type of attack by not always.
All you will see in such a hack is that the application you are running suddenly fails, meanwhile the malware is busy corrupting taking over your PC.
Make sure you keep up to date with Microsoft Update, check the results to make sure there has been no update patch failure.
I use a free tool from secunia.com to automatically check my software daily to make sure that I have the latest versions.
Now Zen, but a +Net residue.