A “massive” attack overcame some popular YouTube accounts over the weekend, and people are shaken up. Though the attack appeared mostly to be toward high profile accounts, it seemed to be mostly aimed at influencers of different genres. These genres comprised mostly of technology, music, gaming and Disney. However, if you have a channel and produce content, take this as a warning and take precautions anyway.
Yes, this is different from regular fishing. Phishing is a fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by disguising oneself as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Investigators strongly believe that this is how the YouTube accounts were hacked. This is further backed up due to reviewing information shared on a notorious Internet forum where hackers communicate. A forum member even came forth and told ZDNet that someone had gotten hold of a “real nice database,” and were “getting a bang for their buck,” as a result.
How Did They Hack the Accounts?
In this situation, emails were sent out to the targeted YouTuber influencers. The point of this was to lure them to a fake Google login page. Then, the hackers would harvest their Google account credentials, gaining access access to YouTube accounts. These were then transferred to a new owner and the vanity URL changed. The actual owner of that channel and those who subscribe to it just assumed the account was deleted, though that obviously wasn’t the case.
Protect Your Account
It’s not always easy to spot a fake email. This situation proves that. One piece of advice: always trust your gut. If you don’t understand why you received an email, or even if the smallest detail looks off to you, don’t go any further with it. Odds are that if you have a YouTube channel, you might have some experience with technology anyway. Go with your instincts.