coder wearing a hood and watching data on a monitor

Udemy Attacks Customers with Malware

Call to Action

#boycott-udemy #udemy-malware

Udemy’s decision is wrong. I am hoping, after reading this article, you will consider doing any one (or more) of the following:

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  • Join me in boycotting Udemy until they: 1) stop using malware, 2) allow customers to play content on their computers using their hardware, and 3) pay punitively for their actions
  • Contact Udemy, citing this post and demand that they stop using malware and set aside appropriate funding for punitive damages
  • If you are an attorney (or recommend an attorney) and believe there is grounds for a class action suit against Udemy, or if you are interested in party to this class action, leave a comment with contact info or email me your contact information using udemy-malware @ with the subject “UDEMY CLASS ACTION”
  • Leave a comment, share this post, shout it on the mountain, because it is the wrong way to treat customers and after failing to negotiate with them, I am hoping we can make them feel the financial weight of their decisions.

Udemy admits to using Malware

Today, I decided to see if Udemy had changed their policy and it appears not. I still see people complaining about the issue, which I can still easily replicate. I created an account for gicta on reddit and posted the situation there, here is another complaint, and here is a third example. I am going to recant the issue here as well (it is edited but based on my original reddit article):

After years as a loyal customer, I contacted Udemy support because my external monitor kept blacking out whenever I played any Udemy content. Their customer service admitted to me they are intentionally using software to shutdown external monitors on purpose. Basically, Udemy is using malware to attack its customer’s computers and shutdown their external monitors, dictating which hardware customers are allowed to use to watch the content they have purchased. This is wrong on so many levels, I really hope a class action attorney picks this up and helps me slap Udemy upside the head.

Definition of Malware

Just to be clear, here is the definition of Malware from our friends at Merriam-Webster:

I buy a course from Udemy, I try to play it on my external monitor, that monitor goes dead against my will. That sounds like “software designed to interfere with a computer’s normal functioning” to me!

How to Experience Udemy Malware

It is super easy. I have a laptop with no HDMI ports, so, to connect an external monitor, I need to use a USB adapter. Hook a USB-to-HDMI (or maybe USB-to-DisplayPort also, I am not sure) to your computer. Open Chrome on the external monitor, login to Udemy and play any course, observe your external monitor go dark. Find Chrome on your taskbar and close it. In some cases your monitor will come back immediately, sometimes you might have to physically disconnect and mess with Dsiaplay Properties to reconnect and detect the external display.

Why Udemy “Security” is Worthless

I argued for a long time, even got them to offer a refund for all my unwatched courses – they would rather do that and stick to their “security policy!” News flash… Here are a few possible ways to defeat this “security” measure, and *spoiler alert* if a person can use F12 in Chrome to defeat something, it’s a pretty good sign your security measures are not all that fantastic!

  • Play it on a sanctioned monitor and screenshot using a cell phone (this is the most duh of all of them!)
  • Even better, if you F12 into the HTML you can find the underlying MP4 files and just save them to your computer.
  • Play the video, after your monitor dies, disconnect it and reconnect it without stopping the video. Then the monitor will start working again and if there is someone trying to steal content, they are back in business.
  • I’ve seen video rippers rip this content
  • I’ve seen posts about tweaking taskbar settings or changing the display refresh rate which might also overcome this malware

Who is gicta

GICTA is term I coined long ago under an ideology whereby the internet becomes an arena for free trade without fiat currency (Global Internet Common Trade Arena) – crypto in the ecosystem could be a thing. And yes, really ICTA says it all, the “g” is redundant; however, that sounds “icky” and the domain name wasn’t available! Trade-offs. As is typical, we operate on the internet under multiple identities, but I currently use gicta for technical dabblings, and as such, I don’t maintain any social media for the moniker. I want Udemy to have a straight, traceable line from this post directly to my account. Then, they can see the weeks (if not months) worth of email exchanges demonstrating how pathetic and short-sited they’ve been during this situation. To quote Jim Carrey:

Thank You

Thank you for your time reading this post. I hope you found it valuable and are considering supporting the Call to Action at the top. However, if you disagree or think the content is flat out wrong, by all means leave a comment.

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