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YouTube is reading text in users’ videos


Google keeps tabs on much of your activity, including your browsing history andyour location. Now, it turns out that its YouTube service is also reading what’s in your videos, too.

Programmer Austin Burke, who goes by the nickname Sudofox, discovered the issue after discovering a cross-site scripting (XSS) flaw on another site.

In an attempt to responsibly disclose it, he uploaded a video of the exploit to YouTube as an unlisted video so that he could show it to the relevant parties.

The video displayed a URL under his control that he was using to test his XSS exploit. After uploading the video, he checked to ensure that no one had visited the URL, only to find several hits from a user agent called Google-Youtube-Links. A user agent is the calling card that software uses to announce what program it is when it visits a URL. He could come up with only one explanation:

It was then that I realized that during the video, those URLs were visible in the address bar. It seemed that...(continued)
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