Hackers Are Hijacking Popular Youtubers to Run Cryptocurrency Scams
According to Decrypt, Czech YouTuber Adam Jicha recently saw hackers break into his gaming channel with over 300,000 subscribers, Roth Wellden, after he received an email to collaborate with a fake website promising to offer a video-game streaming service. The email contained a keylogger.
Someone hacked my YouTube Channel with over 310,000 Subscribers and deleted all my videos. What to do? I cant contact anyone, please help. @YTCreators
— Roth Wellden (@RothWellden) December 28, 2019
The YouTuber quickly contacted the Google-.owned platform but got locked out of his account. Soon after, the hacker changed the name and image of the gaming channel to those of Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao.
The attacker then ran a livestream called “BINANCELIVE: interview with Binance CEO, Announce BTC Giveaway.” The supposed giveaway saw the hacker promise an airdrop of 5,000 BTC to those who sent crypto to an address, effectively scamming those who fell for it.
Jicha’s account ended up on a darknet market being sold for around 0.45 BTC, worth roughly $3,300. Soon after he managed to get his account back, presumably after YouTube stepped in.
CAN YOU DO SOMETHING ABOUT MY HACKED CHANNEL? IT HAS BEEN 3 DAY AND STILL NOTHING FROM YOUR END.. CHANNEL IS ALREADY BEING SOLD ON BLACK MARKET. @TeamYouTube @YTCreators @YouTube please retweet pic.twitter.com/XJPXrZJz6E
— Roth Wellden (@RothWellden) December 31, 2019
The Czech YouTuber wasn’t the only one seeing his account getting hacked. Forbes recently reported on hacked YouTube accounts start pretending to belong to Ripple CEO Brag Garlinghouse, and promote XRP giveaways. One of these, the news outlet writes, managed to earn $15,000 worth of XRP in a livestream.
As reported, a similar scam running late last year seemingly managed to earn 309 LTC, as the YouTube channel was posing as the Litecoin Foundation, a non-profit organization supporting the cryptocurrency. It’s unclear, however, whether the hackers filled up the giveaway wallets themselves to make it look legitimate.
Back in 2018, scammers were using Twitter to hijack verified accounts and promote fake giveaways. Recent reports of YouTubers getting hacked seem to suggest they’re moving to other platforms.