Safe to Watch Videos Online??

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by doubledee, Dec 26, 2013.

  1. doubledee macrumors 6502

    doubledee

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    May 14, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    #1
    Basically have my new MBP up and running *finally* and there is this documentary that I saw on the Discovery Channel back in like 2010 that I want to watch online.

    For the security minded users - like myself - is it automatic suicide to watch any videos from online?? :eek:

    Unfortunately the documentary I am interested in is not for sale.

    Am I undermining all of the work I have done to secure my new MBP by watching streaming videos from You Tube or other sources?! :confused:

    Sincerely,


    Debbie
     
  2. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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  3. doubledee thread starter macrumors 6502

    doubledee

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    #3
    How do I know I'm not catching some Root Kit or the like?!

    (I mean I'm not watching porn, but the bad guys are everywhere these days...)


    Debbie
     
  4. hwojtek macrumors 6502a

    hwojtek

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    #4
    Because you will watch it from a legitimate source, won't you?
     
  5. johannnn macrumors 6502a

    johannnn

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    #5
    Because you're not running Windows XP?
     
  6. Tyler23 macrumors 603

    Tyler23

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    #6
    If you're watching from YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, etc., you're fine.
     
  7. doubledee thread starter macrumors 6502

    doubledee

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    #7
    Because...
     
  8. Tyler23, Dec 26, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2013

    Tyler23 macrumors 603

    Tyler23

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    #8
    Because? Where's the evidence to the contrary that would cause you to suspect something malicious of those sites? Talk about crying fire when there's not even smoke.

    Unless you download something, you're computer won't be infected. And those sites are legitimate, malicious downloads don't come through those sites..

    Automatic suicide to watch any video online? Yes..it's also automatic suicide to read an ebook, listen to a song, type a document, and even turn your computer on..

    Sounds like you're worrying over nothing.
     
  9. Donoban macrumors 6502a

    Donoban

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    Sep 7, 2013
    #9

    What work have you undertaken to secure your new MBP?

    What are these 'other sources' you want to access videos from?

    If you provide those details to the forum you will get a definitive answer on if you need to worry or not.

    But like others have said, I think you're worrying about nothing. It's just a computer, I'd be more worried about not having backups in case your disk crashed.
     
  10. redAPPLE macrumors 68030

    redAPPLE

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    #10
    offtopic: interesting name you got there...
     
  11. doubledee thread starter macrumors 6502

    doubledee

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    #11
    You're kidding, right?!

    First of all, I asked about the potential threats of watching a videos online. Not about the websites them selves.


    How do you think watching a video online works?

    Even with streaming video, you are downloading data...


    Is that like saying "Malicious things don't happen when you shop at a quality retailer like Target?"

    No website or file is entirely safe.

    My goal is to judge what risks are worth taking.

    Would going to a website to download "free" movies and music be advisable? Um, no...

    How risky is YouTube?

    Well, that is what I am asking...


    You're so far out in left field it's not funny.

    You make it sound like there is nothing you do online that can cause something bad to happen to your computer.

    Sorry, but anything you say at this point can't be taken seriously if you take the stance that nothing can ever happen.

    Sincerely,


    Debbie
     
  12. doubledee thread starter macrumors 6502

    doubledee

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    Arizona
    #12
    That's a long list, and one I'm not sure I remember at this point.

    But, as you might guess, based on this thread, I'm feeling rather exposed when it comes to dealing with files online.


    Off the top of my head...

    - System is patched
    - Firewall on
    - Standard and Admin account created
    - Use Standard account
    - All settings locked down
    - Used checksums on all software installed (where possible)
    - Use Pass-phrases
    - FileVault2 running
    - Disabled Java
    - Turn off Auto Login
    - No File Sharing
    - BlueTooth Off
    - Only Allow Download from Trusted Sources
    - Secured FireFox
    - No Gaming
    - No Social Media
    - No Peer-To-Peer
    - No Porn
    - No Free Software like Screen-Savers
    - Visit Trusted Sites
    - Deal with Trusted Users


    Usually the only videos I would watch would be from some major website like CNET, NY Times, Washington Post or maybe You Tube or Vimeo.

    Any videos I'd watch would either be News, IT, or Musical Video related. (More so the first two.)



    No, YOUR computer is "just a computer".

    Mine is not a toy. It has significant portion of my business and life on it. And backups don't mean s*** when it comes to Root Kits and the like... :rolleyes:



    Debbie
     
  13. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    Location:
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    #13
    Video files are not executable, so they cannot contain viruses. I don't know what else you want us to tell you, since you don't seem to believe anything you're told. Sounds like you are being way too paranoid and if you're that worried, I suggest turning off your WiFi, disconnecting your ethernet cable and keeping your computer offline because there's always a risk that there's a currently unknown, unpatched security hole in OS X waiting to be exploited.
     
  14. markyr17 macrumors 65816

    markyr17

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    Apr 8, 2010
    #14
    You'd might as well not do anything on it with the attitude you have it's obviously not withy the risk.

    People who know are telling you it's fine and it's like you are trying to convince them otherwise???
     
  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #15
    It's perfectly safe, unless you're downloading and installing apps from questionable sources.

    Macs are not immune to malware, but no true viruses exist in the wild that can run on Mac OS X, and there never have been any since it was released over 12 years ago. The only malware in the wild that can affect Mac OS X is a handful of trojans, which can be easily avoided by practicing safe computing (see below). 3rd party antivirus apps are not necessary to keep a Mac malware-free, as long as a user practices safe computing, as described in the following link.
    Read the What security steps should I take? section of the Mac Virus/Malware FAQ for tips on practicing safe computing.

    When the MR Guides are back online, read the Mac Virus/Malware FAQ. Until the MR Guides are available, you can read most of the same info in the Mac Virus/Malware Info post, on which the FAQ is based.
     
  16. doubledee thread starter macrumors 6502

    doubledee

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    Arizona
    #16
    Then why do Flash videos often contain malicious payloads?

    And how about "Drive By" webpages?

    I'm not expert, but I'd think there are a number of ways a hacker could use a video as a means to install malware...


    Debbie
     
  17. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    Delaware
    #17
    Meanwhile - douldledee continues to ignore the answers that have been provided already, in several different forms.
    You did ask about flash - and that is a concern for many, too.
    Remove flash. Use HTML5 videos instead. That would be the best possible vector that you can easily prevent.
     
  18. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #18
    Why would Hulu, NetFlix, YouTube, etc, who have millions of customers do anything to harm your computer? If people don't have working computers, they can't use the service, so they stop paying for it, and they all go out of business. It's not in their best interest to infect your computer with anything.
     
  19. doubledee thread starter macrumors 6502

    doubledee

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    May 14, 2012
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    Arizona
    #19
    I only download apps from trusted sources.


    I understand that, but my OP was asking about the potential for online videos to have malware. Slightly different question.



    I do feel safe using my Mac online. That is one reason I switched.

    But videos seems like they are a whole other beast.

    And since I could live without watching them on my MBP, I figured I'd be safe and research any possible risks.

    And I will come back to an earlier point...

    For as long as I can remember, I have always been under the impression that is is *very* dangerous to be downloading music and video files from things like BitTorrent.


    I can look for links if others insist on references, but I certainly recall international hackers using videos to infect and penetrate people's computers and networks. For example, wasn't there a case where some Wall Street Regulators were watching porn at work and the Chinese used that break into their network??

    And Flash (video) has always been an "attack vector".

    Did you know that Image files can be used to install malware?

    If a GIF file can install malware, why would anyone so brazenly claim that videos are completely safe?!

    Seriously...


    I understand there are always risks using computers, and I am just trying to minimize my risks, because I'd be really pissed if the last 6-8 months of setting up my MBP got trashed because I did something dumb online like watching a video on YouTube.




    Why did they take those guides down?

    Sure wish they would update them and get them back online....

    Sincerely,


    Debbie

    ----------

    Because...

    1.) Things get by company IT Dept's (Ever hear of Target?)

    2.) I am not paying a single cent for a YouTube video, so what incentive does YouTube have to police things?

    3.) A lot of the videos I might want to watch on YouTube come from 3rd parties who *may* have bad intent.


    Do I trust videos from the NY Times and Washington Post? Yes.

    Do I trust videos from Apple? Yes.

    Do I trust a video some 13 year old boot-legged from some other source and posted onto YouTube for free? Not sure that I should.

    Sincerely,


    Debbie
     
  20. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #20
    A GIF file cannot install malware. Neither can a video file or an MP3. I don't know where you're getting your information from but it's wrong.

    In order for malware to be installed, the file must be an executable and contain malicious code. Images, video and audio files are not executable. They don't contain any code. Even if an MP3 contained a virus, it would never be executed because the file is merely opened by a player and read, it never attempts to execute anything. Flash is a different story, because Flash is more than just video and does contain code that can be executed by Flash player.

    So go crazy. Go get some MP3s and movies off BitTorrent. Go watch some porn if you want. You will not get a virus. Period.

    ----------

    You think YouTube spends millions of dollars on the software and hardware to keep the service running out of the goodness of their heart? You might not pay for YouTube with your own money, but they absolutely do make money with ads.

    YouTube re-encodes videos that are uploaded with their own proprietary encoders. So even if some 13 year old uploads an infected, bootlegged video to YouTube, whatever's infecting it will be removed when YouTube re-encodes it.
     
  21. doubledee thread starter macrumors 6502

    doubledee

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    Arizona
    #21
    You're talking out of you *** on this point.

    Go Google the topic or go to a Developer Forum and make that statement and see what others say.

    Images can be manipulated to carry a payload containing code which serves as malware. So images most certainly *can* be used as an attack vector.

    I should know, because I spent months writing a rock-solid script which prevents people from trying to do just that on my own website.


    Really??

    Here are a few sources that say otherwise...

    Can AVI files contain a virus?

    MySpace Video Worm Pimps Adult Content

    Malware goes to the movies

    Can viruses/spyware/malware be embedded in mp3's

    Fake MP3 Trojan Detected On 27% Of PCs



    Read some of the few links I posted above...


    Why don't you go do that and after your catch something nasty, DON'T tell us about it until you get a shot!! :p


    Agreed. But they also can't catch everything.


    That may be true.

    I can't confirm that, but if they do that, then it would certainly reduce the chances of passing something along to me.

    Sincerely,


    Debbie
     
  22. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    Always a day away
    #22
    This thread is better than downloading videos.

    [​IMG]
     
  23. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    #23
    Is that Michael Jackson gif safe for me to download?
     
  24. doubledee thread starter macrumors 6502

    doubledee

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    #24
    For you, yes. But right now yg17 is writhing in pain on his floor because he didn't listen to Debbie... ;)
     
  25. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #25
    All of those examples you posted exploit a specific hole in a specific version of a specific program. So yes, I guess there's a risk there's an unpatched exploit in the media player of your choice that a video file could exploit, but at the same time, there's a risk that there's an unpatched hole in the browser of your choice and merely visiting Google next time will exploit that bug and allow the Russians to take control of your computer.

    tl;dr: You're being way too paranoid, and if you're that concerned about viruses, stop using the internet.

    ----------

    It's infected with the pedophilia virus. It will turn you into a kiddie toucher :p
     

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