Following The Twitter Security Breach, Hackers Are Now Hijacking High-Profile YouTube Channels to Promote Bitcoin Giveaway Scams

Following the massive Twitter hack in which several high-profile accounts and celebrities were compromised, now, it seems that hackers are hijacking big YouTube channels to promote Bitcoin giveaway scams. NASA and SpaceX made spaceflight history last week, and millions of people flocked to Google’s YouTube to watch astronauts return to our planet. It was the first time since 2011 that the US launched humans into space.

A lot of people clicked on videos that appeared to be official SpaceX live streams, however, they were met with fake Bitcoin giveaway messages that urge people to send Bitcoin. Scammers claim that they will pay more Bitcoins in return after some time. It is worth noting that those live streams were posted by seemingly legitimate channels, and those channels have hundreds of thousands of followers on the platform.

It appears that hijackers compromised several high-profile YouTube channels during the last week, and they changed the names of those channels to titles such as Elon Musk or SpaceX. All of those hijacked channels promoted Bitcoin giveaway scams, and an esports commentator, Rod Breslau, first pointed out this trend. On Monday, Breslau posted on Twitter stating that a lot of big verified YouTube channels have either been purchased or hijacked. The esports commentator also added that their names have been changed to Elon Musk SpaceX.


The hijacked channels live stream with thousands of view-botted viewers the same fake Bitcoin giveaway the world saw on Twitter recently. These channels promote a fake SpaceX site that urges people to send Bitcoin to be paid back double.

It seems that these tactics are similar to those employed by attackers who compromised high-profile Twitter accounts in a massive Twitter hack last month. The hackers hijacked the verified Twitter accounts of Barack Obama, Kim Kardashian, and more, and used them to promote fake Bitcoin giveaways.

Although the Twitter hack was the result of attackers gaining access to the internal tools of Twitter, it might be possible that each channel was hacked separately, and the hackers did not compromise the internal tools and systems of YouTube. When Business Insider requested YouTube for a comment, a company’s spokesman didn’t respond immediately, however, the platform disabled some hijacked YouTube channels.

MarcoStyle is a gaming YouTuber and his channel was hijacked in 2019 and claims that attackers have been employing similar tactics on the platform since at least November of last year. MarcoStyle explained in a video that his YouTube channel was hijacked after hackers tricked him into opening a phishing email. The FBI claims that email scams cost business owners nearly $1.7 billion last year.

Read next: YouTubers Are Turning To Alternative Ways to Earn Money, 80K Channels Earned Revenue on the Platform from Alternative Sources in April

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