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Australia’s 7news gets hacked on YouTube to promote crypto scam involving Elon Musk

australias-7news-gets-hacked-on-youtube-to-promote-crypto-scam-involving-elon-musk
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News
Australia’s 7news gets hacked on YouTube to promote crypto scam involving Elon Musk

Crypto-criminals hijacked the YouTube channel for Australia’s 7News to promote a digital currency scam featuring Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

On Jun. 27, popular Australian broadcaster The Seven Network saw its YouTube channel live stream looped videos of an AI-generated version of Elon Musk. The channel was also rebranded to represent Tesla but had the 7news verification badge.

The AI-altered video featured Musk urging viewers to scan a QR code displayed on the screen. Upon scanning, users are redirected to a website controlled by the bad actors featuring their cryptocurrency wallets.

“Today’s event is a chance for all crypto enthusiasts and users to double their assets,” Musk said in the video. 

To seem legitimate, the YouTube live chatbox also featured a comment claiming that crypto investors sent over $5,000,000.

At one point, the hijacked channel ran three simultaneous live streams, with each stream averaging more than 50,000 viewers.

Australia’s 7news gets hacked on YouTube to promote crypto scam involving Elon Musk - 1
Hijacked 7news channel rebranded as Tesla | Source: YouTube

The 7news channel boasts a massive 1.71 million subscribers. However, it is unknown whether the numbers were legitimate or bots were employed to push the live stream higher on YouTube’s trending page.

At the time of publication, the live streams have been taken down. Links to the 7News YouTube channel are now broken.

Interestingly, a smaller YouTube channel with just over 2,400 subscribers was also hijacked and was live-streaming a similar video during publication. Yet the stream had over 45,000 live viewers.

Australia’s 7news gets hacked on YouTube to promote crypto scam involving Elon Musk - 2
Hijacked YouTube channel rebranded as Tesla | Source: YouTube

A spokesperson from 7news said in a statement that the publisher was aware of the incident and was working with YouTube to address the issue.

The hackers also targeted other channels operated by 7news, including 7news Spotlight and the old Today Tonight channel. However, all content has since been deleted from these channels.

Today’s incident is one of the many instances where Elon Musk’s persona has been used to dupe cryptocurrency users.   

Last week, a similar livestream was spotted on Jun. 24. The livestream broadcasted a similar double your crypto scam promoted by an AI-altered Musk. 

This channel also had a YouTube verification badge, suggesting scammers typically tend to target these channels to appear legitimate.

In April, these scams flooded YouTube, posing as SpaceX, Musk’s Astronautics venture. 

However, scammers are not limited to using Musk’s identity to double your crypto scams. Last month, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission issued a warning about these scams. 

In this case, Musk’s persona was being used to promote a dubious crypto exchange that pledged direct connection with the Tesla CEO.