YouTubers Are Having Their Channels Stolen By Malware

Editors Note: Mason Pelt the founder of Push ROI, a digital agency offing YouTube Channel Management. He has no conflict of interest with any party mentioned in this article.

Marcelinios is a YouTube channel with nearly 95,000 subscribers. Currently, that channel is being held for ransom by hackers, who are demanding a payment in bitcoin. Marcelinios isn’t alone, GamerThumbTV and a few others have also fallen victim to this channel theft and ransom.

We’ve seen scammers exploit loopholes in the YouTube copyright system to extort money, this is different. In this case hackers gained access to the channel using a mix of malware and social engineering. Marcelinios shared a screenshot of an email he was sent by the hacker asking about advertising on his channel. According to both Marcelinios and GamerThumbTV, the hackers sent a software that seems to compromise the channel.

In both cases the hackers converted the channels to brand accounts, and the hackers made themselves the account owner. At that point the hacker asked for a ransom to be paid in Bitcoin. This can be seen in Marcelinios’ tweet, asking YouTube for help.

https://twitter.com/marcelinios/status/1185884882335076352

After 11 days of being held for ransom, the GamerThumbTV channel was restored to the owner by YouTube support. At this moment Marcelinios’ YouTube account is still compromised.

The YouTuber Coffee Break interviewed GamerThumbTV yesterday. The full interview is well worth the watch and is embedded below.

Header Image: Marcelinios

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