It’s never been easier to learn how to hack, and the use of Remote Access Trojans, or RATS, has allowed hackers more access to your computer than ever before according to a report by the Digital Citizens Alliance. Thousands of YouTube videos teaching users how to hack using RATs is part of this growing problem.
These programs were widely available long before, but YouTube video tutorials have apparently caused a surge in their popularity. As a side-note, it seems that being younger puts you at higher risk of contracting RAT. This is because young people are generally more reckless, and thus more willing to visit disreputable sites and exchange packages of code with complete strangers without utilizing any form of protection.
What’s a RAT? Well, RATs are pieces of code that are embedded into innocent-looking documents, music and even pictures. This bit of code allows an external agent to manipulate your computer as though he were sitting in your chair reading this article right now. RATs allow hackers access to victims’ webcams and hard drives… A certain Windows 10 “free” upgrade comes to mind… (a helpful Anon had commented on that article that I’d forgotten about the fact that it was only a 1-year “free” subscription to Windows 10… Technically though, it seems that they had intended to only charge users who did not upgrade to 10 within the year. They are planning on eventually turning their OS’s into a [email protected] subscription service, though 10 does not appear to be th- I digress).
Forums have been set up specifically to sell access to the webcams of unwitting victims, with female “slaves” being sold at 5 dollars and male “slaves” sold at a buck. Sexism strikes again.
A well-known victim of RATs is Miss Teen USA Cassidy Wolf who had her camera hacked in 2013. For months, the hacker was staring into her bedroom.
“One night I had an email sent to my computer anonymously threatening me, giving me three options to do whatever he asked,” Wolf told CNNMoney. “The first one being to Snapchat him, the second one being to send him ‘better quality’ photos, and the third one being to video [myself] for five minutes doing whatever he asked.”
“It’s insane that literally anybody can get ahold of somebody’s computer and basically terrorize someone’s life just by watching a YouTube video,” she says.
Adam Benson, a security researcher for the Digital Citizen’s Alliance, had this to say about the YouTube hacking tutorials which often also come with advertising paid by corporations:
“Advertisers who spend a lot of money on online advertising and are invested in building a good brand…suddenly they find their products up next to bad actors and often criminal actors.
We would like to see human teams, human engineers, reviewing these videos,” he says. “Making sure that people are not victimized and re-victimized over and over and over again.”
Well, I’m pretty sure that corporations like Wal-Mart belong in the same category as these hackers; it’s no surprise that their ads ended up on a tutorial about preying on others…
“Gee golly jeepers, looks like our target audience for our products are criminals too! Let’s just advertise, and then cry foul when people find out that we’re paying criminals so we can sell more crap, undercut small businesses and continue to underpay overworked employees!”- some CEO somewhere.
Anyway, Benson recommends a SOLUTION to your RAT problems: It’s cheap. It’s sticky. It’s TAPE®. You put it on your Webcam®. Watch hackers cry LIVE streamed via TAR® (no actual hackers can be seen crying via TAR®. TAR® does not exist. Sticky TAPE® is not actually trademarked, and you may/may not experience Unpleasant® Sticky Residue® obscuring your Webcam® after removing TAPE®. The Writer® of this article will not be held liable for Sticky Residue® or any other form of rash/ blood loss/ loss of life that may arise from the use of the above product, and shall now cease this unfortunate attempt at faux Salesman Tone®)!
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