Australia’s 7News YouTube Channel Hacked to Promote AI Elon Musk Crypto Scam

Australia’s 7News YouTube Channel Hacked to Promote AI Elon Musk Crypto Scam

Australia’s renowned news channel, 7News, had its YouTube channel hacked on Thursday, leading to the broadcast of an AI-generated cryptocurrency scam featuring Elon Musk. The breach attracted substantial attention, with around 60,000 and 45,000 viewers watching two live streams before they were taken down and later re-uploaded.

Scam Details and Execution

The fraudulent live stream used an artificial intelligence representation of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, falsely endorsing a cryptocurrency scam while standing in front of a Tesla vehicle. Following the initial stream, two additional streams were uploaded, presenting what seemed to be a Tesla Cybertruck launch event slated for 2023.

The scam enticed viewers to scan a Tesla-branded QR code displayed on the screen, encouraging them to deposit money into the scheme with promises of doubling their crypto assets. The AI-generated Musk convincingly claimed, “I am not joking, this is absolutely real and available to all of you.”

Impact on 7News and Immediate Actions

In the wake of the hack, Seven’s primary YouTube channel was taken down, rendering it inaccessible and displaying broken hyperlinks. The 7News YouTube channel, temporarily rebranded as a Tesla account during the attack, was also removed.

A spokesperson for Seven confirmed the company’s awareness of the breach and ongoing efforts to resolve the issue in collaboration with YouTube. “Seven is investigating and working with YouTube to resolve the situation as soon as possible,” the spokesperson stated.

Rising Trend in Cryptocurrency Scams

Cryptocurrency scams have been on the rise, with high-profile individuals frequently targeted. Billionaire Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest is currently pursuing legal action against Facebook over fraudulent crypto ads using his likeness.

The Australian corporate watchdog has been actively dismantling investment scam and phishing websites linked to fraudulent cryptocurrency activities, taking down over 2,500 such sites since July of the previous year. Earlier this year, the federal government identified Russian cyber hacker Aleksandr Ermakov as the perpetrator of the 2022 Medibank hack, compromising the personal information of more than four million Australians.

Other Noteworthy Incidents

In related news, American rapper Juaquin James Malphurs, known as Waka Flocka Flame, faced scrutiny after launching his memecoin on the Solana blockchain network. The token, FLOCKA, drew criticism for suspicious activity related to its supply, as pointed out by blockchain sleuth ZachXBT. FLOCKA joins a growing list of “celebcoins,” with notable personalities like Iggy Azalea, Andrew Tate, and Hulk Hogan also launching their own memecoins on Solana.

Recently, Binance co-founder Yi He expressed concerns about the surge in cryptocurrency scams on social media platform X, questioning whether Elon Musk would take action to address the issue.

The hacking of 7News’ YouTube channel and the proliferation of cryptocurrency scams underscore the need for heightened vigilance and stronger cybersecurity measures within the digital space.

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