28 February, 2008

Viruses in Video files?...Not exactly!

I recently heard from my friends that movies they downloaded off torrents asked users to download separate players in order to play such files. The message was being displayed from within a player such as VLC, and worse, it seemed to be a part of the movie!! The suspect was a certain "3W player". If the player was downloaded, anti virus programs would start going haywire with virus alerts. The player was rigged to play a certain stream within the video file. Some of my friends disabled the anti virus software they had, watched the movie, un installed the program and turned the virus protection back on. BAD BAD MOVE!!! If you happened to connect to the Internet when playing the movie with the "3W player", god knows what sort of malicious software it would download! Most of my friends' PC's have crashed as a result, and those that are running, don't boot up properly.

I sure did a lot of R & D on this one, and finally decoded what the player was trying to do. The video file itself has 2 streams :

Stream 1: shown when any other player is used.

Stream 2: shown when the particular player is used. The player is rigged to read from the video file after skipping stream 1.

There is practically no way to read stream 2 with an external player. There are a lot of video files going around with such streams, so be careful to read comments before downloading!

See my tutorial on How NOT to download virus ridden files off bit torrent


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