Linus Tech Tips YouTube channel hacked to promote Elon Musk crypto scam videos
The Linus Tech Tips YouTube channel has been hacked, and is now under a different handle, promoting crypto scam videos featuring Elon Musk.
YouTube has had an ongoing issue with account breaches, and now it appears that one of the largest channels on the platform has been hacked. LinusTechTips, known for its accessible PC hardware content, has been the latest victim of these attacks.
The channel has been renamed “LinusTechTipsTemp” under the handle “@temporaryhandle“. The channel has also deleted most of its videos, although these are gradually being restored.
The breached channel streamed two videos featuring Elon Musk talking about cryptocurrency with Twitter’s original founder. One is named “OpenAI ChatGPT-4: The Game-Changing AI Technology”, while the other is called “LinusTechTips & Elon Musk Special Crypto Giveaway”. The latter stream has been taken down after around 20 minutes of broadcasting. The first stream went down after around 35 minutes of broadcasting.
However, they have both now been put live again in what appears to be a struggle between the malicious actors and YouTube themselves.
However, both of the livestreams appear to be identical, showcasing the exact same video. Though, in the chat, a link to a presumably malicious “Crypto Giveaway” is present. This appears to be a phishing attempt in order to get cryptocurrency wallet details from unsuspecting viewers.
Will LinusTechTips get its videos back?
While bad actors might have already scrubbed most LinusTechTips videos, previous instances of account breaches with video deletion have had its accounts returned following recovery by the account owner. It appears as though the previously deleted videos are now in the process of being restored by YouTube itself.
The re-uploaded videos also seemingly include previously unlisted videos, with different titles. Some videos even explicitly state “Do not upload” or “Do not use” in their titles.
This has been a lingering problem for YouTube, as an additional tech channel, Eteknix, was hacked a few weeks ago but has seemingly had its accounts returned to them with all videos recovered, too.
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It’s unclear how the hackers managed to get into the account of Linus Tech Tips, though it highlights the importance of security on all accounts where possible
The Linus Tech Tips account has now been terminated following the breach.
Twitch has also had problems with scam crypto streams posing as Elon Musk, sometimes taking over big-name streamers.
Linus responds to YouTube account breach
A few hours after the hack, Linus made a post on their site ‘Floatplane‘ to confirm they were aware and working with Google to resolve the issue.
“Regarding the YouTube channel hack, we are on top of it with Google’s team now,” Linus said. “Everything should be locked down and we are getting to the bottom of the attack vector with the (hopeful) goal of hardening their security around YouTube accounts and preventing this sort of thing from happening to anyone in the future.”
Linus also said a more detailed update on the situation on the WAN show “at some point.”
TechQuickie also compromised
It appears as though the LTT-affiliated channel, TechQuickie, has also been compromised, and is posting the same video under a different name. The same can be said of Techlinked, indicating that the hackers now have access to other Linus Media Group-owned channels.