Google’s Threat Analysis Group (TAG) just recently shared a report pointing out an ongoing phishing campaign against YouTube account owners which ends in a compromise and sale of the accounts for the broadcasting of cryptocurrency scams.
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The TAG links the assaults to a group of hackers enlisted in a Russian-speaking conference, who hack the Youtube accounts by proposing sham collaboration opportunities. Once the hackers take hold of the YouTube channel, either of two things happen. They sell to the highest bidder or are used for crypto scams broadcast.
“A large number of hijacked channels were rebranded for cryptocurrency scam live-streaming. On account-trading markets, hijacked channels ranged from $3 to $4000 depending on the number of subscribers.”
The report states that the Youtube channels are being hacked with the help of a cookie theft computer virus, a counterfeit software structured to run on a prey’s computer without being perceived.
It was also reported that the hackers replace the profile pictures, names and even content of YouTube Channel to pretend to be established tech or cryptocurrency exchange firms.
“The attacker live-streamed videos promising cryptocurrency giveaways in exchange for an initial contribution,” Google says. The company has incorporated instruments to help distinguish and prevent phishing and social engineering emails, cookie theft hijacking and crypto-scam live streams as a countermeasure.
Considering the rigid efforts from Google, it has been able to decrease the amount of Gmail phishing emails by 99.6% since May 2021. “With increased detection efforts, we’ve observed attackers shifting away from Gmail to other email providers (mostly email. cz, Seznam, post. cz and all.com),” the company said.
Google has since shared the report above with the Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI) of the United States of America for any continuous investigation that might be needed.