Hackers managed to gain access to the popular computer YouTube channel Linus Tech Tips, deleted all of the videos and showed a clip about cryptocurrency scams to an audience of 15.3 million, reports The Verge. This is not the first time that attackers were able to gain access to such a large YouTube channel.
The channel was suspended pretty quickly, presumably while YouTubers work to restore it. Linus Media Group’s other YouTube channels, including Techquickie and TechLinked, were also hacked and given new Tesla-themed names.
It was not immediately clear how exactly the channels were hacked, their owner Linus Sebastian only tweeted that he was aware of the situation.
Yes I know -_-
— Linus LinusMediaGroup (@linusgsebastian) March 23, 2023
It’s just the latest in a string of hacks over the past year, typically aimed at promoting live streams that redirect viewers to amateur cryptocurrency sites via links or QR codes. YouTube itself has not yet commented on the incident.
However, one YouTube user claims that hackers are hacking channels like Linus Tech Tips through fake sponsors contacting authors. They are persuaded to download a sponsored file, which is malware designed to steal cookies, remotely control PCs, and eventually hijack YouTube accounts.
In addition to two-factor authentication, YouTube has not yet introduced additional security measures based on IP address and other factors, which, when logging in from another location, would block channel renaming, access to live broadcast options, and video deletion for a certain period of time. Combined with login alerts from a new location, this could help channel owners recover their YouTube accounts before real damage is done.
YouTube could also implement a guardianship system where renaming a channel or removing a video would require a second approval from another account, or even additional two-factor authentication.
We hope YouTube can quickly restore the Linus Tech Tips channels and will continue to develop new measures to increase security on the platform.