Hacker hijacks Microsoft YouTube accounts to broadcast crypto Ponzi scam

Image: ZDNet

A hacker has hijacked all of Microsoft’s official YouTube accounts and is broadcasting a cryptocurrency Ponzi scam to the company’s subscribers, ZDNet has learned from one of our readers.

The hacks appear to have occurred about 13 hours ago, according to our source. The hijacked accounts are still streaming at the time of writing, despite being reported to YouTube’s moderators for more than one hour.

The hacker is currently live-streaming an old Bill Gates talk on startups that the former Microsoft CEO gave to an audience at Village Global in June 2019.

Hackers are live-streaming an altered version of the presentation, but also asking for viewers to participate in a classic “crypto giveaway” — where victims are tricked to send a small sum of cryptocurrency to double their earnings but never get any funds in return.



Image: ZDNet

The cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme is currently live streaming on the YouTube accounts of Microsoft US, Microsoft Europe, Microsoft News, and others. There are currently more than 19 life streams running on YouTube with the talk. The videos are airing on Microsoft YouTube channels, but also on YouTube channels hijacked from other users and renamed to appear as legitimate Microsoft accounts, in an attempt to amplify the effect.

The Bitcoin address listed in the video streams did not receive any transactions or holds any funds, suggesting that no users have fallen for the scam. Based on YouTube stream stats, tens of thousands have seen the video feeds.

Microsoft was not the only organization impacted by the mass hijack and defacement incident. The Chaos Computer Club, a famous Germany-based hacking community, has also had its account hijacked to broadcast a similar message.

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