Cheat sheets

Hacked Channels: A new trend which needs care

Lately it has become a trend for cyber criminals to hack into channels of content creators on Youtube and Twitch. There have been numerous cases reported online by channel owners which state that their channel with thousands or even millions of followers has been hacked.

Hacked (Youtube) channel

The cyber criminals which hack into Youtube channels want to make use of the reach which the Youtube channel has. A cyber criminal which has just taken over a (Youtube) channel will most likely perform:

  • Changes to the videos, the cyber criminal can include hyperlinks to malicious sites or content
  • Upload new videos with fake or misleading information
  • Change the monetization settings
  • Disrupt the video channel

How did the cyber criminal get in?

Owning your own channel is not easy work, most of the time you are editing or creating content, and this means, that you also utilize the web to download pictures, filters and tools. Cyber criminals are catching up on this.

These criminals will upload and share malicious applications with the goal to gain access to information once the application has been executed by a victim.

Promotion deals are your weakness

Channel owners are always looking into methods to earn more money with their channel, this means that they are open to promotion deals. This is a big risk for each channel owner as these cyber criminals will utilize this weakness.

The cyber criminal will:

  • Act as a customer which is interested in some promotion deals
  • Send malicious content (PDF files, pictures, videos etc)
  • Send you links which will lead you to unwanted locations / sites
Some tips on how to protect your Youtube channel

Linked applications

Have you linked external services to your channel? Then make sure that from time to time you recheck all of these services. Ask yourself this;

  • Do I still need this service?
  • Did the service change from owner?
  • Is the service agreement still the same?
  • With who do they share my information?
  • Do they maintain security and privacy checks?
  • Can I contact them in case of emergency?

Linked devices

Did you link any devices to your channel? Then make sure that you recheck from time to time if all the devices which are linked to your channel are known or not.

Has your channel been hacked?

If your channel has been hacked, you should consider any linked accounts to your channel to be breached.

What do cyber criminals often do?

  • They will change the recovery email address to their own address
  • If they have access to your mail, they will create forwarders in the mail, these forwarders will send forward any (recovery) mails to them
  • Log you out from all devices
  • Change the credentials

Protect your account

Follow these steps to make your account more secure:

  1. Go to your Google Account.
  2. On the left navigation panel, click Security.
  3. Under “Signing in to Google,” add recovery options to get back in to your account easily in the future. Learn how to set up recovery options.
    1. Turn on 2-Step Verification to add another layer of security to your account. Learn how to turn on 2-Step Verification.
    2. If you use Gmail, check your filters and forwarding settings. Make sure your mail isn’t being forwarded to an email address you didn’t set up.

You can’t sign in to your channel account

For help with getting back into your Google Account:

  1. Follow the steps to recover your Google Account or Gmail.
  2. Reset your password when prompted. Choose a strong password that you haven’t already used with this account. Learn how to create a strong password.

Some tips for the unrecognized device issue

The issue with “unrecognized device” is prevalent after an account has been hacked.  Occasionally after using a new location/device.   You will need to exit all attempted access  and recovery efforts;  do not access or attempt to recover the account for one FULL week, then try again.  Any access to the account during this time will cause the clock to start ticking again, back to zero. When you try again, after waiting the full seven days, try ONE TIME only. 

Use this page.If you are impatient, and do not wait the full week, the error will keep repeating.  Then you are just wasting your time. No one else can access your Gmail account during this time, However if you have an associated YouTube account, and the hacker has transferred ownership, you will need to contact the YouTube people AFTER you regain access to your hacked account, if Google manage to return the account If you also had a YouTube channel and it was hacked, carefully note the following:-

  • We cannot help in this site with YouTube issues.
  • Specific YouTube help is in the YouTube forum https://support.google.com/youtube/thread/new?hl=en   
  • You need to post there for YT problems.
  • You MUST have access to your Google account before asking for YouTube help.
  • Clearly describe your issue;  without this you probably will be ignored