Microsoft has been busy announcing updates to Microsoft 365, Edge browser, Teams, among others, a few hacked YouTube channels which have been renamed to look like official Microsoft channels are live-streaming a crypto scam alongside a video of Bill Gates from June 2019.
While the hijacked accounts can be misconstrued as Microsoft accounts at first glance since they boast hundreds of thousands of subscribers to a tens of thousands at least, but diving only a bit deeper into the channels revealed the original identities of these channels.
In our research, we found out multiple channels named Microsoft News, Microsoft US, Bill Gates, Microsoft EU, Microsoft Promotions, that have been running the crypto scam since three days at least, with future live streams scheduled on some of the channels too.
Checking the About page of these channels was a straight giveaway that these aren’t Microsoft-affiliated channels as you’ll find related channel links to YouTube creator channels, discrepancies in channel descriptions and linked accounts. The URL of these channels don’t represent Microsoft either.
We found that one of the Microsoft News channels (screenshot attached below) with 96K subscribers was home to Engels Coach Shop before it was hacked — as can be seen in the channel URL as well as the uploaded videos. Another channel named Microsoft News (screenshot attached below) that has 278K subscribers carries the name of a YouTuber called Just Maiko in the header image as well as the person’s Instagram ID.Microsoft US channel with 110K subscribers (screenshot attached below) belongs to a young man named Even Le (also known as Even Duy Quoc Le) from Torrance, California. The about page of the channel still carries all his information and links. Another Microsoft US channel with 341K subscribers (screenshot attached below) belongs to Matthew Brian Brown, who goes by the Twitter handle @SwiftKarateChops. The description and URL of the channel are a dead giveaway. According to a ZDNet report, the bitcoin addresses mentioned in the scam haven’t received any money or don’t hold any funds. However, as we’re writing this, more than 100,000 viewers are viewing the live streams via the hacked YouTube channels combined.
All the channels with crypto scam live streams were running at the time of publication.
Prayank heads the Editorial at Candid.Technology. When not writing, he loves taking trips on his bikes or chugging beers as Manchester United battle rivals.
Contact Prayank via email: [email protected]