Automotive YouTubers Frantic as Hackers Take Over, Delete Accounts

Posted by: Jesse Kleib on 11/16/2021

Anywhere that we tread online these days, we have to tread carefully. Our internet security is certainly something that we might take for granted until it’s too late. Even in situations where we’re trying to be incredibly careful, hackers can strike. Some of these people are just as smart as they are evil.

This time, the security breach is a big one and it has already hit close to home. We’re sure there are plenty more, but as far as we have heard, Troy Sowers and Pure Function are just a couple of the automotive YouTube channels that have been affected by the breach.

How is the Hack Happening?

Essentially, the way that the hackers are gaining access to channels is through an elaborate phishing campaign. This would involve tricking creators to click links to use a fake login page. From there, the predator would use the information to log into the victim’s account. From what we have gathered so far, those behind the scheme aren’t even using it for profit just yet. Instead, they have chosen to simply delete the channels that they have gained access too. We’re not quite sure what the endgame is here. We might be lead to believe that the mission is to gather deleted channels as some sort of trophy.

How is YouTube Responding?

From the creators that we have talked to, it seems like YouTube doesn’t have an answer just yet. They are, however, aware of the issue. For the time being, it looks like creators are going to have to bide their time, waiting on a resolution from the site, if there even is one. We can’t say for sure, if the content is deleted, that it can be brought back or if YouTube can restore a channel’s audience after said channel is deleted.

Forbes did receive an official statement from YouTube saying “We have not seen evidence of an increase in hacking attempts over the weekend. We take account security very seriously and regularly notify users when we detect suspicious activity. We encourage users to enable two-factor authentication as part of Google’s account Security Checkup, which decreases the risk of hacking. If a user has reason to believe their account was compromised, they can notify our team to secure the account and regain control.”

How Can you Protect Yourself?

Be suspicious of everything. These hackers are getting incredibly good at what they do. Every link or proposition, no matter how legitimate it might seem, should be questioned. We would recommend never signing into an account unless you go directly to the website yourself. Furthermore, clicking on links in an email should be something that you don’t make a habit of. If the link is questionable, copy and paste it into a browser. Using Google Chrome’s “Incognito Mode” could be another layer of security if you absolutely must explore a suspicious link. – superspeedersRob