Groups of hackers are hijacking YouTube channels to promote crypto scams, according to a new report from tech industry titan Google.
In a new blog post, Google’s Threat Analysis Group says that bad actors are using Russian-speaking online forums to lure victims and gain access to their YouTube channels.
“The actors behind this campaign, which we attribute to a group of hackers recruited in a Russian-speaking forum, lure their target with fake collaboration opportunities (typically a demo for anti-virus software, VPN, music players, photo editing or online games), hijack their channel, then either sell it to the highest bidder or use it to broadcast cryptocurrency scams.”
According to the report, scammers get ahold of YouTube accounts and then modify them to appear legitimate by mimicking well-known businesses in the crypto industry. The fraudsters then live stream videos that promote cryptocurrency giveaways.
“A large number of hijacked channels were rebranded for cryptocurrency scam live-streaming. The channel name, profile picture and content were all replaced with cryptocurrency branding to impersonate large tech or cryptocurrency exchange firms.
The attacker live-streamed videos promising cryptocurrency giveaways in exchange for an initial contribution.”
According to Google, YouTube has detected and recovered 99% of stolen channels thus far.
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