A U.S. rapper’s YouTube channel was hacked to promote a fraudulent ETH and BTC giveaway via live streaming

Young artist Keyshawn Butler confirmed on his Instagram page that his YouTube channel was hacked on January 7. It seems that the rapper was unaware of what the hackers were doing. HiiiKey’s channel has about 249,000 subscribers on YouTube.

US rapper HiiiKey’s YouTube channel has been hacked and used to promote a fraudulent Bitcoin and Ether giveaway, which has so far stolen over $70,000 from unwitting users. The live stream is still active at the time of writing.

After gaining control of the channel, the hackers completely changed the layout of the YouTube page and renamed it „Ethereum FUND“ before removing all other videos present. The perpetrators did not change the details of the channel’s ABOUT tab, which still features HiiiKey’s information and links to his social media accounts.

On January 7, hackers used the page to upload a live stream in order to promote a complex Ether and Bitcoin giveaway. Considering the large number of subscribers to the channel, it seems that over 60,000 viewers are watching the live stream.

The livestream used an old video of Vitalik Buterin, in which the Ethereum co-founder talks about the launch of the Beacon Chain and the transition to Ethereum 2.0 before December 2020. The video is accompanied by text promoting a giveaway of 40,000 ETH and 3,000 BTC via a fraudulent website.

The giveaway offers users various returns by requiring them to send ETH or BTC to specific addresses. The scam promises participants to return double the amount of cryptocurrencies sent to the addresses.

A quick search of the ETH address listed on the website reveals that the hackers received a total of 39.1 ETH, a figure equivalent to about $49,000 at the time of writing. The BTC address received just over 0.6 BTC, currently equivalent to about $23,000.

This is not the first time a high-profile YouTube account has been compromised and used to promote fake cryptocurrency giveaways. In August 2020, hackers took control of technology reviewer Jon Prosser’s channel, renaming the page NASA news.

The perpetrators used a video of Tesla CEO and SpaceX founder Elon Musk to promote a fraudulent BTC giveaway. In 2020, fake SpaceX channels earned scammers more than $150,000 in BTC.

In the past, YouTube’s legal team has indicated that the platform cannot be held liable for crypto scams carried out on the channels. This was in response to a lawsuit filed by Ripple in April 2020 regarding fraudulent pages posing as the company and the XRP token.