YouTube Is Spreading the Work of Crypto Hackers
The scam takes on the form of phishing, which means hackers gain personal information from users to access their accounts and other private data. The scam targets YouTube account holders with fake brand deals, and it’s been active for the past two months. Companies like Brick Bros Productions have already reported that their accounts are no longer theirs, while specific individuals – like musician Po Go – have also reported to YouTube that their accounts have been taken over by the hackers.
Once the phishers have taken over an account, they flood it with cryptocurrency livestreams, which allegedly boast tens of thousands of viewers at a time. They also feature several links to various bitcoin giveaways, which – you guessed it – do not exist. These giveaways claim that if you give a small amount of digital money to a provided address, you can expect a big return.
Surprisingly, there are many people who have allegedly fallen for this tactic, only instead of a return, they receive nothing but an empty pocket or two. Sorry, but everyone by now should know that anything promising returns in the crypto world – given the volatility of digital currencies – is probably fake, and too good to be true.
One YouTube user – Tony Schnur – describes how he lost his account to a crypto hacker. He tried to login one day, but couldn’t, and discovered that the name on the account had been changed from his own to “Coinbase Pro,” which derives from the professional trading wing of Coinbase, a large and popular digital currency exchange based in San Francisco, CA.
One of our editors received a sponsorship offer for his channel from a company advertising editing software. He downloaded the software while logged into our account, which enabled someone to gain access to our channel.
That “someone” claimed to be a representative of a company called Splash Up Light, a venture that declared bankruptcy approximately six years ago. They request an opportunity to advertise on your channel for a price, and once a price is agreed to, they send over a list of steps that you’ll be required to take to download their materials and software.
The trouble is that it’s not software… It’s malware, and once installed, the hacker has access to your YouTube login data. From there, they can access your account and hold it “hostage.”
Too Many Problems Since Crypto Got Bigger
CEO of Influential, Ryan Detert, explained in an interview:
Ever since crypto went mainstream, there have been a variety of scams to gain access to private keys across literally every platform. Scammers have recently [heightened] their sophistication by using livestreaming tactics to create a greater sense of urgency and FOMO [fear of missing out].