Infection from the "VideoPlay" adware has been on the rise, just one indication that social media is being targeted for malware attacks. This particular adware, which is spread through malicious posts and comments on sites like Digg and YouTube, went up 400% from January to February.
What is adware? "Any software package which automatically plays, displays, or downloads advertisements to a computer after the software is installed on it or while the application is being used." - Wikipedia
The VideoPlay adware is a worm that aims to steal login information as well as any other information stored in a user's browser - such as passwords. The worm can then use stolen access, such as that for social networking sites, to leave more malicious comments.
On Digg.com, the VideoPlay adware was left in comments. The comment would contain a link to a celebrity video, many of which prey upon videos already popular, or a pornographic video. However, the link would prompt users to download a codec to view the video file - this would contain the adware. The comments are being left via an automated script with more than 500,000 malicious comments tracked, according to SC Magazine.
The YouTube hosting of the VideoPlay adware is occurring through the Annotations feature to point to a URL left in the video information box. The malware is not as prevalent on YouTube yet, but it's only time before more attacks of this sort begin to spread through social media sites.
The increase in the infection rate of the worm indicates that the adware strategy is working. Be wary when clicking links and don't fall for strategies that require you to install new 'software' to view any videos.