Mountain View (CA) – Spammers have found a way to use YouTube’s “Invite a friend” service to send out ad-laden emails. According to the security experts at Sophos, the spam bypasses traditional email filters because the messages originate from YouTube’s servers.
So far the spammers have used the emails to advertise dating websites and gaming accessories. The ads are placed inside of the comments section of the email. Spam blockers and other filters generally ignore the emails because they originate from youtube and have the source address of firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Normally spammers take over innocent people's PCs to send their unwanted messages across the internet. In this case, however, they don't need to do that. Instead they are using a website to relay a message on to their intended audience," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos.
YouTube is also suffering from a rash of spam text in its “Comments & Responses” section under all of its videos. For months spammers have been using automated programs to create hundreds of accounts to place ads and URL links in video comments sections. YouTube visitors are able to report spam by clicking the SPAM button next to each comment, but it appears that the company is fighting a losing battle.