Report delves into RAT videos on YouTube

Remote Access Trojans (RATs) proliferate through YouTube tutorials and hacker forums, a new report from Digital Citizens Alliance suggested.
Remote Access Trojans (RATs) proliferate through YouTube tutorials and hacker forums, a new report from Digital Citizens Alliance suggested.

Of all the malware online, Remote Access Trojans (RATs) account for nearly 70 percent.

A new report from Digital Citizens Alliance, a self-described coalition focused on internet threats, deep dives into the RATs world with a particular focus on YouTube.

The group's eight-month research period brought up thousands of RAT tutorials on YouTube, the group wrote, and IP addressees spanned 33 states and dozens of countries. The report also pointed out that advertisements from major companies accompanied 38 percent of the tutorials. Revenue generated from these ads will go to both Google and the cybercriminals, the report stated.

Through its additional entrenchment in hacker forums, the group found that “ratters,” or people who infected victims with RATs, often communicated about best practices and tips for a successful infection. YouTube and “content theft” sites, such as The Pirate Bay and Kickass Torrents, also appeared to be considered infection hotbeds.

The researchers found multiple videos demonstrating how to compromise a legitimate file on a download website in order to infect site viewers.

The alliance suggested creating an awareness program on RATs to educate parents and their children, as well as pushing for additional law enforcement resources to increase regulation, as possible large solutions. 

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