The Security Risks Of Illegal Online Video Sites

There are many things that people like to do on the internet but one of the most popular activities seems to be watching video files. We all grew up loving TV and now in this new age we can take video content wherever we go. We can enjoy movies, TV shows, documentaries, and even video podcast on the bus and even at in long lines at the DMV. But the online proliferation of video is still a pretty new thing. Sure, we have been able to stream video over the internet for over a decade now but it is just recently that we have been able to enjoy it. In the past the video was very choppy and it would take a long time for the person to be able to sit through a broadcast. While now it is not perfect, it is more than enjoyable for anyone with a decent Internet connection.

security risks of illegal online video sites

The technology that made enjoying online video so easy is known as Flash. Before Flash we would use technology such as real time and raw streaming to deliver video to computers. But as I said before these technologies were slow and almost unusable. The creators of Flash were able to make a technology that was able to stream video with no problem at all. There was still lag time but nowhere near like it was before.

The security problems with using Flash for video

While Flash turned out to be a great solution it was still not optimal. Flash may be a good video streaming and animation technology, it also has its security problems as well. But the security holes in Flash are not the only problems with online video sites. There is a problem where technology is not the issue. In this article I will talk about both types of security holes.

As I said earlier, while Flash is great for video there have been too many attacks against the platform for someone to consider the technology to be totally safe. This is why you are not able to play flash streaming videos on devices such as the IPad and the IPhone. Apple was worried about the stability of the technology and decided that the users of such devices were better off without Flash being able to run on the machines.

And this has been a problem with the Flash technology for a long time. There are just too many holes that have not been filled yet. There has been a huge backlash against Flash technology lately in the tech community. Apple was just the first of the major tech companies to do something about it. When a security hole is found in a device because of Flash it will not be Adobe who takes the blame in the general public’s eyes. It will be Apple. So why take the blame if you do not have to. This is especially true because now people have better options. There are three reasons why most people interact with Flash. One of course is the video aspect. The second reason is so that web developers can have animation on the web pages that they create. And the third big reason is so that people can play web games. There is a technology out now called HTML 5 that solves all of those problems. If you mix it with CSS 3 and JavaScript you have a very good Flash replacement.

The other security problem for online video

While I have spent most of the article blaming the bad security of Adobe products for the safety concerns of online video, they are not the only problem. There is another issue as well but this has to do more with the web sites that the videos are hosted on. There has been a rash of black hat hackers using online video sites to be able to get people to come to their malware infested sites. People love watching videos online and there is no easier way to get a large amount of people to your site than to offer an enticing video. Once they are there they will use the background tech on the site to try to infect the visitor’s computer with malware. It doesn’t matter the technology being used to stream the video, what matters is the actual site that you visit. When you go to any web site that is offering videos for you to watch, you want to be sure that it is a web site that you trust. There are plenty of bad guys that are trying to get you to go to their sites and this is one of the ways.

Online video is a great thing to enjoy and there is no reason that you should stop now. But just like anything on the internet you should make sure that you are careful where you go.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.


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