Hackers are ramping up their activities in targeting the booming crypto sector around the world. In a recent incident, hackers took control of several YouTube channels that belonged to crypto-supporting influencers as well as Indian exchanges, such as CoinDCX, WazirX, and Unocoin. The hackers posted video instructions asking people to wire them money in cryptocurrency. A wallet link was added by the hackers in the description section of the video.
The hackers are believed to have interrupted YouTube servers to abruptly play the video message on hijacked accounts. USD Coin, Binance, and Ether were among cryptocurrencies they were asking for, in exchange for a new, unfamiliar cryptocurrency called OWCY.
When an affected Indian creator Arun Maini tweeted about the incident, he asked his followers if perhaps somebody had screen-recorded the video message and his followers had managed to grab the hackers' video.
Michael Gu, the creator of Box Mining YouTube channel also informed his followers about his channel being hijacked via Twitter.
“This is likely a hijacking attack on YouTube as there are more than 30 YouTubers affected,” Gu wrote.
Meanwhile, Indian exchanges Unocoin and WazirX also reportedly confirmed that their channels were breached briefly, but tackled immediately.
“We can see that there is no external login or activity on our account. It is obviously appearing as if YouTube has got hacked or should be some rogue employee at their end who could have intentionally did this or it is also possible that his computer was compromised,” Sathvik Vishwanath, CEO, Unocoin, told Gadgets 360.
Details on whether an inquiry has been launched into the case remain unknown. It also remains unknown if people actually transferred any crypto tokens to the wallet address of the hackers.
YouTube has not issued a statement addressing the incident as of yet.
This is not the first time that cyber criminals penetrated the video-streaming platform to target unsuspecting investors.
Back in July 2020, one of India's most popular YouTubers Ajey Nagar, aka CarryMinati, reported that one of his two channels on YouTube had been hacked, and were displaying suspicious Bitcoin links to his followers.
In September 2020, the Twitter account linked to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's personal website and mobile app was hacked and began inviting crypto donations to the PM National Relief Fund.
In fact, just in December 2021, PM Modi's Twitter account was hacked and it displayed that Bitcoin was adopted as India's legal tender.
In 2021, fake crypto websites registered 9.6 million visits from India, a report by Chainalysis said.
Crypto scams mooched off over $7.7 billion (roughly Rs. 58,697 crore) from investors last year, a report by Chainalysis had revealed in December.
Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.