Sophos blocked from YouTube over malicious Erin Andrews video

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Security vendor Sophos has been caught out by censorship after a guidance video was blocked for 'inappropriate content'.

Senior technology consultant Graham Cluley originally posted a blog about a ‘peephole video' of ESPN presenter Erin Andrews after discovering that a malicious video was circulating.

The company then made a video about the threat to warn people not to search for the video - which was made without the knowledge or consent of the glamorous ESPN sports presenter as she dressed in her bedroom - and show how easy it was to stumble across a malware infection.

The video was then posted on the SophosLabs video channel on YouTube, however, after 160,000 views Cluley found that YouTube had banned the video for inappropriate content.

Cluley said: “It's true that my video does include a still picture from the video on the malware website which starts with a picture that is allegedly from the alleged video allegedly of Erin Andrews (who I had never heard of before this weekend). If that's the reason why the video has been pulled it would be nice to know that, and then maybe I would be able to produce a new version for YouTube which can help warn their millions of users of the malware threat.

“My only guess is that YouTube is desperately trying to clean-up its database, removing content related to the Erin Andrews peephole video, as so many mischief-makers have been posting questionable material. Unfortunately, I can't find any way to contest the judgement on my video, or details on how to contact a human being at YouTube other than via snail mail.”

Cluley later claimed that a new version of the video was now available with the ‘possibly-offending pixels of a posterior blurred out'.

However Rakash Gupta, CEO of PineApp, claimed that including an image from one of the videos on the malware websites he was trying to raise awareness about was a step too far.

“It is a security vendors' responsibility to provide sensible, intelligent advice that allows computer owners to accurately assess their risks and put the right measures in place to stop their homes or businesses from being affected. The bottom line is that if computer owners have the right solution in place, security is really nothing to be afraid of. It's time to stop the gimmicks,” said Gupta.

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