Musk: Report This as Soon as You See It
Malicious actors appear to have posed as SpaceX on the video-streaming affiliate of Google. Those involved took over two separate accounts and provided footage of Musk speaking at the recent launch that occurred in Florida. The accounts offered a fake bitcoin giveaway, in which viewers were asked to donate crypto to a single address in the hopes that their money would be doubled.
While executives at YouTube have apparently been made aware of the situation and shut the accounts down, the hackers have still gotten away with roughly $160K of users’ digital money. This was one of several accounts that were hacked this week for the purpose of implementing crypto scams and stealing users’ money. Other accounts taken over by malicious actors include Juice TV, Right Human and Maxim Sakulevich. At least one of the accounts had well over 200,000 subscribers.
Some of the individuals scammed into donating money are now asking for advice on how to get their funds back. One user posted in the comments thread of the alleged Elon Musk footage:
I was scammed yesterday 06/04/20 by a video allegedly from SpaceX. It was a live broadcast, titled 5000 Bitcoin Giveaway. It was something about SpaceX. It had a bunch of people and Elon Musk was there.
Musk remains one of the most popular figures to impersonate for crypto hackers. The CEO of both Tesla and SpaceX has acknowledged the situation and has put out the following statement telling people what to do when they see potentially phony giveaways in his name. He says:
Report it as soon as you see it. Troll/bot networks on Twitter are a *dire* problem for adversely affecting public discourse and ripping people off. Just dropping their prominence as a function of probable gaming of the system would be a big improvement.
This Is Becoming Too Common
A new report issued by cybersecurity firm Tenable states that this is becoming far more prominent and common, and that social media platforms such as Twitter are widely being used to spread bitcoin or crypto-based scam videos. The report reads:
There has been a perpetual cat-and-mouse game between Twitter and cryptocurrency scammers since they appeared in 2018, as scammers try to evade detection and removal of their accounts. As a result, scammers keep modifying their tactics in a variety of ways.
YouTube has been under heavy scrutiny as of late for not reacting quickly enough to potential scam videos. The company is now being sued by the Ripple network, which states that YouTube has not done enough to stop Ripple-based airdrop scams and that the crypto company’s reputation has been considerably damaged due to executives’ incompetence.