Veoh is Malware

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I’d been wondering why our download speeds had halved, and why, for the first time since signing up with Digiweb, we’d exceeded our monthly (20 gig) download limit. I did some back of the envelope calculations and even including generous allotments of guestimation for Quicktime trailers from Apple and flash video from Youtube, it didn’t add up.

I ran a virus scan with AVG, and spyware scans with the old faithfuls AdAware and Spybot, which uncovered nothing. So I just assumed Digiweb were going through a rough patch, and we’d downloaded more than I was accounting for. Then today, IE 7 crashed (forgive me, I occasionally open the beast when I don’t want to risk real work crashing in Firefox from a time wasting flash game), and I Ctrl+Alt+Delete’d to kill the process. Low and behold Veoh, a video sharing service, whose client I had installed – grudgingly, and after checking a couple of spyware databases – to download Japanese cartoons for my girlfriend, was running a service, one not explicitly mentioned in the installer. The Veoh service was not only chewing up bandwidth, but resuscitated itself – Trojan like – every time I killed it, and insisted on being manually deleted.

I’m disgusted, it seems obvious the program uses its client not merely to P2P file requested from user to user, reducing it’s bandwidth overheads, but to serve packets even when apparently shut down; effectively using your computer as part of the networks swap file. This is very different from openly running the client in the taskbar on startup, which though rude behaviour, is obvious, common, and easily fixed. A windows service, is by contrast much more opaque to users, and this is the first time I’ve seen one run like this, effectively stealing system resources.

To quote the Veoh FAQ..

‘In essence, Veoh has designed a globally-hosted video server, capable of transferring enormous amounts of video in a fraction of the time and cost of traditional systems.’

Indeed. A fraction of the cost, to them.

Instead, each user’s computer participates in the network, providing bandwidth for other users. This is the only cost: your unused resources.

Unused resources are things like spare processor cycles. This is not Folding@home, the Veoh service eats bandwidth, at what can become a very real cost to you.

Let this be a warning, if you’re running the program, and don’t have literally tens of gigs of monthly bandwidth to spare (and who does?), uninstall now.
If you really must use Veoh, which does seem to have a wide variety of Anime YouTube lacks (a cynic might speculate the site is seeded from Topsites to build up the user base), follow these instructions to prevent the service from starting with your computer.

  1. Hit ‘Start’.
  2. Click ‘Run’.
  3. Type ‘msconfig’ and click ‘Ok’.
  4. The ‘System Configuration Utility’ will pop up.
  5. Click on the ‘Services’ tab.
  6. Scroll down the ‘Veoh Client Service’.
  7. Untick the box beside it.
  8. Click ‘Apply’, then ‘Ok’.
  9. Now click ‘Restart’.

Your computer will reboot, free of bandwidth stealing nastiness.

I’ve done a little reading and apparently Veoh also has the wonderful habit of deleting files you have already downloaded from your hard drive, if ‘content providers’ decide they violate copyright. What a nasty little outfit.

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17 thoughts on “Veoh is Malware

  1. Veoh is for people who have flatrates, i.e. no traffic limit, and of course people who know how to control their system.. Just don’t install Veoh as a service (which you can choose during the setup) and keep a shortcut to start/close it whenever you like. Of course it eats bandwith while it’s running, that’s why you can download complete movies from there…

  2. Target – People with no traffic limit make up a tiny minority of internet users, both in Europe and the US. In any case my objection is to the subterfuge. At no point does VEOH indicate that it’s client uses bandwidth in this way. Joost on the other hand, points out on the website and during install the bandwidth requirements – in addition to not draining bandwidth during action use. Additionally, many longer videos cannot be watched on the Veoh site without the POS client.

  3. Hey man, i very much like you installed VeohClient with extreme reluctance and found something definitely had changed with my internet speeds/connection after i had installed it.

    I couldn’t quite put my finger on it as spyware/anti-virus scans had picked up nothing, it had occured to me to search the web briefly to see if anything came up regarding to Veoh being spyware but unfortunately at the time nothing had come up(was a brief search).

    Cheers for posting that article, just a question though, does VeohClient.exe affect you once you have killed the process in the task manager? Or is it only when you are running it? I’ve got a flat-rate plan and don’t mind if it eats up bandwidth but as long as i can stop it from eating bandwidth when i don’t want it too.

  4. Kiwi, to be honest I don’t know whether or not their are other Veoh executables running which are a bandwidth drain. My advice would be to run a bandwidth manager programme and watch the bandwidth use before and after you kill the Veoh process. Assuming the program doesn’t have any other (even more) hidden bandwidth draining processes, bandwidth use should drop significantly. All in all though, you might be best off uninstalling the bugger and replacing it with a combination of utorrent (http://www.utorrent.com/) and isohunt (http://isohunt.com/).

  5. Thanks mate, i thought utorrent was dead now? I’m using BitLord currently(seems to be doing an alright job so far). Cheers for the help, i just recently upgraded my system and now won’t be installing VeohPlayer at all until information indicates otherwise. 🙂

  6. hello
    since i downloaded veoh i’m facing serious probs with my connection,not only slow speeds etc,but sometimes i cannot even open some internet pages,and i almost cannot communicate through msn messenger anymore!
    the prob is that i opened the system configuration utility,but veoh client doesnt appear to be there,,,

  7. It makes me sad how naive you all are. If you knew as much as you boast about computers you would blatantly see that upon clicking Menu, in Veoh, and going to settings you will see “Startup” and then the checkbox “Start VeohTV in the background when I turn on my PC (Allows for automatic video downloads)”.

    No, they are not trying to hide it. It is OBVIOUS! There is absolutely no need to go into such detail to remove the service when a simple checkbox click would suffice. You blow things way out of proportion.

    Also, I’m on an unlimited internet plan here in Florida. So is everyone I know, so don’t say there are few people who have this kind of plan without properly doing your research.

  8. Bradley, my article was published in 2006, and at the time AFAIK there was no such option within Veoh. As far as an unlimited plan goes, I’d be interested to know just how unlimited your plan is, as the past few months have revealed that in the wake of internet video, American ISPs are just as reluctant to provide an ‘all you can eat’ service as European ISPs.

    For example – http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/08/27/0040220
    or http://www.news.com/2100-1034_3-5079624.html

    Assuming your bandwidth really is unlimited, and your ISP is comfortable with unlimited P2P traffic, then Veoh may be right for you. However, if you read my article again, you’ll notice my primary objection was not to the programs consumption of bandwidth, but to its difficulty of removal and underhand practices; which again, were evident at the time of writing.

  9. Once I installed the veoh program and ended up reinstalling windows to clear up the problems, but I found even more malicious issues when I just downloaded using real player, becauase a meta file was installed in my download location. I didn’t know what that was until then, since I did a search query on it, and it turned out that it was a ‘robot’ for the purpose of revealing ‘tags’ and other info so that a website can be identified on the net, but I wasn’t a website! This was my personal folder!!! It always took as long as watching a movie to download it. When I reinstalled windows AGAIN, and not going to veoh, all the video I downloaded took only seconds! I also unchecked all the options for receiving cookies and updates from real player. I don’t know if that makes a difference, but one must wonder why real player doesn’t allow you to save their program before installing it. Thanks for getting the word out!

  10. :/ I’m having the same program as eliza (7th comment) and am wondering how to get rid of this veoh BS! Yes, I’ve gone through your steps, the service isn’t there. I uninstalled it through control panel :/ iuno, lost.

  11. BTW: The BBC iPlayer does the same thing! It runs a background process that turns your computer into P2P client/server and shares the videos you downloaded (from BBC only) to other users, that need them. Thus, reducing delays and such.
    However if it would only make it clear to people it is doing it!
    Many ppl would think twice before installing it!!!

    I’m not installing VEOH on my computer!

    Stay clean & focused!

  12. I bumped into this page when seeking further data on the Veoh Web Player.

    In its current incarnation (Aug 2010), it appears not to run a background service. But it does by default make itself a startup process and so will effectively run in the background. It creates hundreds of connections to peers and continuously sends and receives data.

    Veoh does not seem to adequately disclose the nature of its client’s behaviors on its website. I was however long since aware of its P2P nature.

    What came as a surprise to me was that an update apparently reasserted its startup on windows boot, where I had explicitly disabled it previously.

    Annoying at the very least. I was alerted to it when I found massive unexpected traffic through one of my routers.

    Veoh Web Player offers no outward indication of its online activity. It is a deceptive practice.

    Veoh does offer a genuine service and I will continue to use it, but warily, and I will never fail to advise anyone I know to be using it to disable it as a startup process and to remain vigilant lest it run unasked.

  13. “Low and behold”

    The phrase is ‘lo and behold’, with lo being a shortening of the word ‘look’, as in “Look and behold”.

  14. Much appreciated. This post (from now 6 years ago) stopped me from installing this seemingly terrific online video player.

    Saved me some troubles and my hat is off to you.

    Regards,

    Brentwood

  15. My computor was running very slow, so I ran Malware Bytes. It came back with Veoh girafic in the malware title. I deleted the malware then uninstalled Veoh girafic. The movies would not play without girafic. A week later, with my computor slow again. I ran Malware Bytes and it came back with malware that had Veoh web player in the title. So I deleted the malware and uninstalled the Veoh web player. I now have a faster computor. I wish I could set my vlc player to take the place of the Veoh web player.

  16. Stay away from Veoh, as it loads your system down with spyware and malware.

    I had to format my PC just to get rid of it, as it wouldn’t not let me delete through the control panel as it said I lacked ‘Administer privileges’ to delete

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