Skip a YouTube ad, catch some malware?

Yesterday, I was zipping around YouTube, looking for some clips for an upcoming K-Chuck Radio blog entry.  One of the tracks I wanted to include was an upcoming collaboration between Pentatonix and Manhattan Transfer on a version of “White Christmas” from Pentatonix’ upcoming album.

Oh, here it is, right here on YouTube.  Let me just listen to the clip to make sure it’s the right one and –

Uh oh, there’s an advertisement for some travel event.  Don’t need to see that.  Ah, here’s the “skip ad” button, I’ll click that and –

And then it got weird.

Instead of going directly to the video, clicking that “skip ad” button took me to what looked like a YouTube page, but the web address in my browser didn’t completely say  Instead, it said something like or something goofy like that.

Yep.  Wherever this page was … it wasn’t good.

Quickly I backed up.  Don’t click on anything on that page, Chuck, or your computer could develop something painful.

I then looked at the originating clip – the “skip ad” button was not put there by YouTube, it was actually a link embedded in the YouTube clip itself by the slimeball who uploaded the video in the first place.  I let the clip play through, and after watching the video clip – some 30-second diatribe about a vacation in the Caribbean – I saw the cover of the Pentatonix CD and about four minutes of silence.  Just enough to fool anybody into thinking that they were clicking on a link that might actually possess a fantastic collaboration between two awesome vocal groups.

I’m not linking to the phony YouTube video, for obvious reasons.  I do not want my readers’ computers infected by some scambot or malware proponent.  I don’t have time for that, and neither do you.  I did, however, report the issue to YouTube so that they could investigate this terminate and stomp him out.

Jeez, what people won’t try to do to ruin your day.

Man, it’s getting to the point where these scammers and swindlers and griefers and spoilers are ruining our enjoyment of great things.

It’s irritating and it’s foul and I would hate to see anybody have their computers compromised because they like listening to Pentatonix.  That’s not fair.

So just a note, people… if you’re falling through the YouTube wormhole and you want to check out a music video or a TV show, and something looks suspicious … back up to the previous screen and go somewhere else.  And erase that link from your browser history.  And update your antivirus software.

Urgh.  It’s always something, I guess…