VLC Media Player Malware Attacks From Chinese Hackers

 

VLC Media Player Malware Attacks From Chinese Hackers


VLC Media Player Malware Attacks From Chinese Hackers


A new report released by the popular security company Malwarebytes shows that cyber-criminals are using VLC media player to launch malware attacks against users in China and around the world. This technique, known as steganography, uses the image encoding properties of a video or audio file to embed malware into an image and then pass it along to unsuspecting users. While this isn’t anything new, the fact that Chinese hackers are now leveraging VLC media player as their primary attack vector is something we should all be worried about.


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What is VLC media player?

VLC media player is a free, open-source, portable multimedia player that plays most multimedia files as well as DVDs, Audio CDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. Also known by its full name VideoLAN Client or VLC for short. It is an official project of VideoLAN, a non-profit organization.



The rise of the Chinese cyber criminals

A new threat to computer security is arising out of China and it could be a big problem for American businesses. In fact, a recent story in The New York Times says that Chinese hackers are using VLC media player to launch malware attacks on unsuspecting U.S. computers—and that cyber criminals are watching you through your webcam! The source of these attacks? It all comes back to VLC media player.



How Chinese malware attacks target you

According to a report from one of McAfee’s labs, security software giant McAfee Labs has discovered evidence that Chinese hackers are using VLC media player to launch malware attacks. This is quite interesting because cyber criminals have used VLC for many years as part of their attack toolkit, but only for its Media File Editor feature which allows them to encode malicious files.


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How to protect yourself from VLC malware?

First, check to see if you have downloaded VLC player from its official website. If not, then you may have downloaded a malicious version of VLC that is bundled with malware. To determine whether or not your installation is safe, run a virus scan on your PC and contact your antivirus company for help identifying whether or not it is safe to use.


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Conclusion

The recent spate of VLC media player malware attacks from Chinese hackers is a serious warning for website administrators who have not yet taken steps to encrypt traffic and secure their site. The use of VLC media player as a vector for spreading malware is on the rise due to its ease of use, popularity, and legitimate features that appeal to potential hackers.

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