Fake YouTube site targeted Syrian activists, EFF says

15.03.2012
A fake YouTube site purporting to show videos supporting the opposition in Syria has been taken down after it tried to infect visitors with malicious software, according to digital watchdog Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

The EFF is "deeply concerned about this pattern of pro-government malware targeting online activists in authoritarian regimes," wrote Eva Galperin and Morgan Marquis-Boire, on the organization's .

Syria, which has been sternly criticized for its brutal treatment of anti-government protestors since an uprising began about a year ago, is known to heavily censor the Internet and monitor users.

The fraudulent YouTube page tried to get users to enter their username and password, which in some cases is linked with a person's Gmail account. The site also tried to get the victim to download a bogus update for Adobe Flash, which was actually Windows malware, the EFF wrote.

The malware then "connects back to an address in Syrian IP space and downloads additional malware, which gives the attacker administrative access to your computer," the EFF wrote.

The EFF detailed how a user can tell if he has been infected. The organization recommended reinstalling the operating system if the computer has been infected, since an attacker could have installed other kinds of malware on the machine as well. The EFF said all passwords should also be changed for services accessed while the machine was infected.