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YouTube channels reportedly being taken over by hackers to livestream crypto scams

By Mayowa Adebajo
Published October 24, 2021 Updated October 24, 2021
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According to new reports by Google’s Threat Analysis Group (TAG), there's been a recent wave of hacks on YouTube channels

YouTube channels reportedly being taken over by hackers to livestream crypto scams

By Mayowa Adebajo
Published October 24, 2021 Updated October 24, 2021

According to new reports by Google’s Threat Analysis Group (TAG), there’s been a recent wave of hacks on YouTube channels, rebranding them for live-streaming crypto-related scams.

TAG says the attacks are being carried out by a group of Russian-speaking hackers recruited from a forum, who then sell the already hacked YouTube channels to whoever pays highest.

How do the hackers gain access to the YouTube channels?

The mode of operation of these hackers in the ongoing phishing campaign against YouTube creators is that they typically offer fake collaborations to the real channel owners, resulting in the channels being compromised and eventually being sold off for livestreaming crypto scams.

So far, several of the channels that the hackers have taken control of, have been rebranded in a way that they’ll be broadcasting cryptocurrency scam.

The hackers sell the hijacked channels for prices ranging from $3 USD to $4,000 USD, with the prices depending on the number of subscribers on the channel.

According to reports, the hacks are being carried out using cookie theft malware — a fake software that has been configured to be running undetected on a victim’s computer. After successfully gaining access to the victim’s account, the hackers then proceed to change the names, display pictures and the entire content of the YouTube channels to mirror big cryptocurrency exchange firms and large tech companies.

In a particular event, the attacker broadcasted videos promising crypto giveaways after the viewers have made an initial contribution, says Google.

Google has since shared the above information with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the United States to investigate more deeply.

 

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