Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Get HideMyAss! VPN, PC Mag's Top 10 VPNs of 2016 for 55% off for a Limited Time ×
Youtube The Internet

DDoS-Style YouTube Dislikes For Sale 66

An anonymous reader writes: Dell's Joe Stewart chronicles the tale of the YouTube channel that came under attack in the form of an avalanche of 'dislikes' for any videos that touched upon a certain company or even which examined themes around the company's product without mentioning it. The number of dislikes was so disproportionate to the casual number of viewers for the channel, and so concentrated as to constitute a particular type of net-attack — one that appeared to originate in Vietnam. Stewart eschews the notion of a "cottage industry" of Vietnamese YouTube "dislikers" in favor of the fact that any network exploits are eminently reproducible in a country which has only five ISPs among nearly ninety million people — and a widely distributed vulnerable router.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

DDoS-Style YouTube Dislikes For Sale

Comments Filter:
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 06, 2015 @12:02PM (#50467233)

      Likes and dislikes alter youtube's video sorting algorithms. A pile of dislikes may be enough to bury a video under irrelevant search results.

      • How do I dislike this stupid story?

        • by GrumpySteen ( 1250194 ) on Sunday September 06, 2015 @12:47PM (#50467431)

          Press Alt-F4 and go outside.

          • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

            Just press and hold the power button on your computer for 10 seconds, this is a hidden dislike button.

            Alt-F4 is how you gain admin rights in IRC.

            • by ls671 ( 1122017 )

              Unfortunately my computer turned itself off after I counted to one-thousand-5, 5 seconds. What an unfortunate bummer...

              I am going to try again but if I don't succeed, is there any other way to reproduce the dislike button behavior you are describing?

              I am really eager to use that new functionality you just taught me.

              Thank you in advance,

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            Okay, you are were right the phone signal is a lot better out here, now what?

      • Likes and dislikes alter youtube's video sorting algorithms.

        Cite?

    • by Anonymous Coward
      It was my understanding that dislikes weren't actually harmful - no matter what rating you give, it still improves the channel's "engagement" rating, which is why there are so many clickbait channels out there posting controversial bullshit (and making a killing on advertising revenue)...
    • Believe it or not, there are many people out there in which YouTube is their source of income. Dave Jones is one of them. He makes enough that he has made it his full time job. Let's say there's some a-hole at work that has it in for you because you you pointed out a technical flaw in something they did. Now this person has made it a point to try to mess with you whenever they can, and at your next salary review your boss points out that one or more co-workers has been saying this and that about you and
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I just go there for the comment drama. Like /. lol....

  • EEVblog (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thygate ( 1590197 ) on Sunday September 06, 2015 @11:53AM (#50467191)
    Dave Jones from EEVblog noticed this after debunking some myths about a kickstarter project (the infamous batteriser) Here's his video about it : https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
    • 1. From the article (I know, I know):

      Recently, one of my favorite YouTube channels, Dave Jonesâ(TM) EEVblog, came under attack after having published a series of videos debunking a product claiming to vastly extend the life of alkaline batteries

      2. Subtle, but not entirely unimportant: it's an IndieGoGo project, not a Kickstarter.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        What, people here actually read the article? This is not the Slashdot I know and love.
    • that was what first came to mind to me, too.

      dave and the eevblog have come a long way, haven't they? they are now THEY site for the subject matter at hand. dave must really be enjoying his luck; and it was a lot of luck - its a great site and all, but he's not all that unusual or exceptional; many of us in the field have the background and experience he has. but his site really took off (and I don't have a problem with that, I spend a lot of time there, too) and now the bloke's fairly well known and his

    • I love EEVblog, it's fantastic stuff, but Dave has a voice that's even more annoying than Cilla Black. And that might be the reason for the dislikes, that having to listen to a voice that compares unfavourably to fingernails on a chalkboard would lead to negative votes.

      • by Z80a ( 971949 )

        Except he showed the youtube statistics the videos, and there are clear spikes from Vietnamese "viewers" disliking only the batterizer and batterizer related videos.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 06, 2015 @12:43PM (#50467411)

    They're going to have to whittle that down to 1 or 2 if they want to compete with western monopoly tactics.

  • The video is a 38 minutes rant against a product that allegedly extends the life of disposable batteries. The author doesn't disagree with the technology or the fact that it can extend battery life, he just loses his shit about the 8x claim and some other minor things.

    38 minutes of outraged, sneering engineering babble with an extremely annoying voice, bad infographics and lots of screenshots. Whoever rented a Vietnamese hacker (or whatever) to add 5,000 dislike on that video should be thanked by Youtube vi

    • Nevertheless, if you were considering an investment (or a job) in that company, it's something that you might want to look at before making your decision.

    • 38 minutes of outraged, sneering engineering babble with an extremely annoying voice

      Yeah, that was the video that convinced me that I don't need to watch that guy. That could have been a three minute video and still had extra content.

    • Re:One more dislike (Score:5, Informative)

      by caseih ( 160668 ) on Sunday September 06, 2015 @05:06PM (#50468437)

      Sure but these factory dislikes that were purchased don't even correspond to any views whatsoever.

      Personally I found his video very enlightening. I appreciated how in-depth he was explaining from the various data sheets what really happens to batteries.

      He could have shortened things a lot with the following summary:
      - most electrical devices are engineered to work with lower-voltage rechargeable batteries which have a cutoff of 1.1 volts
      - Thus most devices work on a voltage all the way down to 1.1 volts per cell, not the 1.35 or 1.4 volts claimed by the company
      - hence there's very little "wasted" power in an alkaline cell once it hits this 1.1 cutoff.
      - Claims of 8x battery life are completely false
      - Even if a badly-designed device cut off at 1.4v, the efficiencies of the voltage booster circuit would eat up a lot of the remaining power trying to hold the voltage to 1.5v, especially at low amperages.

      Like I say I appreciated his clear explanations of the physics, electronics, and science behind battery operation.

  • by wisebabo ( 638845 ) on Sunday September 06, 2015 @01:00PM (#50467513) Journal

    Now that might explain some recent strange network problems that I've been having here in Vietnam. About 3 weeks ago, Google started denying my searches saying that due to the large number of attacks coming from your network they would refusing traffic (or something like that). I immediately checked my home network (a fiber optic TOTOlink router) and changed the password but the messages persisted. (They're gone now.)

    I thought that perhaps I had a (lot of) neighbors who had been compromised/involved in attacks and perhaps Google was casting a wide net (blocking a large subnet of the ISP or even the entire ISP) and that I was just caught up in it. That may be the case, like the summary says there are few ISPs and presumably few different routers being used so it would be easy for a hacker to exploit a vulnerability and command a botnet of thousands of routers. On the other hand, I looked up TOTOlink router vulnerabilities and it said that there is an unpatched backdoor to my model so it is vulnerable. I assume this is true even if I changed my passwords.

    So (since I'm obviously not an expert) my question is: is it likely that my router has been hacked? Will it allow the hacker to use it as a "bot"? Is my (unencrypted) traffic vulnerable to interception/change/man-in-the-middle attacks? Or is it more likely that Google isn't blocking my little network (that is attached to the internet by a single dynamic IP address) specifically but is blocking a large portion or even the entire ISP (in my case Viettel?).

    I hope whoever can answer my questions is rewarded Karmically! Thanks! :)

    • So (since I'm obviously not an expert) my question is: is it likely that my router has been hacked? Will it allow the hacker to use it as a "bot"? Is my (unencrypted) traffic vulnerable to interception/change/man-in-the-middle attacks? Or is it more likely that Google isn't blocking my little network (that is attached to the internet by a single dynamic IP address) specifically but is blocking a large portion or even the entire ISP (in my case Viettel?).

      I hope whoever can answer my questions is rewarded Karmically! Thanks! :)

      1) Google your router model for vulnerabilities. If there are unpatched vulnerabilities or your router's firmware is outdated then answer is "yes." 2) Yes. 3) Yes, and your encrypted traffic is also subject to man-in the-middle and all that. Router has access to all your network-traffic so it can redirect DNS-queries and all that, and man-in-the-middle becomes real easy to do. 5) Either or both. We have no way of knowing, but you need to check your own network and equipment anyways.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      You have fibre to your home? I'm envious.

      • Yeah, I got fiber from Viettel, it's supposed to be 38Mb/sec but you really only see that at night when network congestion is low. I think the bottleneck is the few (two?) international fiber links that connect Vietnam to the outside world and that have very frequently(!!!) been cut. They've been cut so often and (almost always?) in the spot that only affects Vietnam's traffic that I suspect that China has a hand in it. (I'm assuming that China might have some deep sea technology that no other nation in

  • Nice seeing Dave's EEVlog getting some Slashdot attention.
  • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Sunday September 06, 2015 @03:23PM (#50468083)
    This is one of the problems with a rating system which allows dislikes. To quote from my earliesr posts on the topic: The average ranking is not rank = (up - down) like you'd think.. It's rank = p1*up - p2*down. Where p1 is the size of the population which would rank it up, and p2 is the size of the population which would rank it down. Unfortunately, p1 and p2 aren't perfect, and a certain percentage of them will vote stuff up/down just because it makes them comfortable/uncomfortable. If they canceled each other out, there would be no problem. But if the size of p2 is >> p1, then that small percentage of p2 can be larger than all of p1. A minority viewpoint consequently gets a disproportionate number of unfair downvotes simply because it's a minority viewpoint, and thus has to garner a lot more upvotes just to obtain an equal ranking to a majority viewpoint.

    For an apolitical, non-religious example, consider Windows vs. Linux. Say Windows users outnumber Linux users 50:1. Now imagine if a search engine let you rate search results based on whether they were useful or not useful, which is then used to prioritize subsequent search results. In every population, there's going to be an idiot segment who votes stuff down simply because the search result was irrelevant it was to their query, not because they thought it was wrong. Consequently, if a search for hard disk repartitioning brings up four Windows sites and one Linux site as the top results, the Linux site is going to have 50x as many downvotes from those idiot users who never specified Windows in their search but were upset that an "irrelevant" Linux site was included in the search results. If the idiot segment of the Windows population exceeds 2% (numerically equivalent to 100% of the Linux population), that Linux site will end up with a negative rating regardless of how useful or informative it is.

    In this case, if a % of p2 is a government-directed smear campaign in control of millions of voters, it can be sufficient to overwhelm p1 and bury a YouTube video with dislikes. (For similar reasons, it's folly to allow non-democratic nations to participate in democratic votes like in the UN. You end up with things the Commission on Human Rights controlled by a bunch of countries who don't respect human rights simply because they have the majority of votes.)

    I suspect rating systems fall under similar limitations as Arrow's Impossibility Theorem [wikipedia.org], and there's no way to develop a perfect rating system. So you need to dispense with the notion that there is one "best" rating system. One is not better than another, they simply tell you different things about what the population is thinking.

    To its credit, YouTube still allows you to see the raw number of likes and dislikes, so you can simply ignore the dislike count if you wish. It would be good though if they let you customize their search algorithm per individual account, so you could give more or less weight to certain things like number of likes or dislikes. That would dilute the impact of (purported) smear campaigns like this, as well as drive the SEO people nuts.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      It works both ways of course. Many people have been trained to "like" everything they see on social media platforms like YouTube.

      There is also the obligatory XKCD [xkcd.com] problem. A large number of up-votes is just as useless as a large number of down-votes in many cases.

    • by burbilog ( 92795 )

      I suspect rating systems fall under similar limitations as Arrow's Impossibility Theorem [wikipedia.org], and there's no way to develop a perfect rating system. So you need to dispense with the notion that there is one "best" rating system. One is not better than another, they simply tell you different things about what the population is thinking.

      It's possible to build perfect rating system based on ratings if final rating is based on personal preferences. I.e. if you upvote this page and downvote that p

  • In a recent court decision, the FTC's power to levy fines against a company with poor cybersecurity has been affirmed: http://it.slashdot.org/story/1... [slashdot.org]

    With car manufacturers, sell a car with defective brakes and the FTC can order the manufacturer to recall the vehicles and fix the brakes, regardless of the model year. If the manufacturer fails to implement the recall, the FTC can fine the manufacturer up to $16,000 for each vehicle in the field. With [say] 100,000,000 vehicles in the field, this is a $1

  • Vietnam dislikes were only on the first day of dislike flood. Second day saw Venezuela/Czech/Latvia dislikes with no corresponding video views = load page, hit dislike, close page.

    You could argue Vietnamese ISP infrastructure is purely secured. But what about Venezuela/Czech/Latvia? What is a simpler more likely explanation, that they all use insecure routers, or maybe that they are all very poor countries with people willing to work as mechanical turks?

    As for the Indiegogo Batteriser SCAM itself, it has be

  • Charlie don't like.

Can't open /usr/fortunes. Lid stuck on cookie jar.

Working...