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Hackers are targeting YouTube influencers with fake collabs, and of course, it’s working

Hackers are attempting to hijack YouTube influencer accounts under the guise of collaboration and endorsement deals.

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Image: KnowTechie

Google’s Threat Analysis Group has stated that over 1.6 million phishing messages offering cash in return for product promotion have been blocked in the past six months. The messages were sent by Russian-speaking hackers to YouTube influencers.

The hackers would offer cash in return for product advertising, as it can be seen from one of the messages: Recently our company created an antivirus called PixProtect, but few people in the United States know about it so that more people know about it, we need good advertising.”

If a YouTuber influencer accepted one of these deal, they would be given the link to a malware landing page from where they would have to download the app or game. The links would be sent by email, in a PDF file on Google Drive, or .doc files.

Influencers were asked to endorse a wide variety of products on YouTube, including VPN services, music players, and online games. In total, Google’s Threat Analysis Group states they have restored over 4,000 accounts that were taken over using this method.

Ashley Shen, Security Engineer at Google stated that “The attackers registered various domains associated with forged companies and built multiple websites for malware delivery. To date, we’ve identified at least 1,011 domains created solely for this purpose.”

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