Microsoft's YouTube channel gets hijacked and wiped clean

The hacker was possibly the account's previous owner

Microsoft's official YouTube channel was hijacked on Saturday and all videos hosted on it were temporarily removed. The hacker replaced them with others claiming that Microsoft is holding a contest.

"We are sponsoring" and "Make us a Background to Get Subbox!!!" were the titles of two rogue videos published by those responsible for the attack. Meanwhile, the channel's description was modified to read "Wish to Become Sponsored? Message me."

One message posted by the alleged hacker provides an indication of what might have happened. "I DID NOTHING WRONG I SIMPLY SIGNED INTO MY ACCOUNT THAT I MADE IN 2006 :/" he said.

This suggests that the hijacker registered in the early days of the video-sharing website. The account was claimed by Microsoft, probably citing trademark reasons, but the original email retained access to it.

It's not clear how this happened, but in 2008 YouTube started providing users with the option of linking their old accounts with their Google ones. This action became mandatory earlier this year and might have something to do with how the previous owner obtained access now.

If the user's email address got linked with the Google Account used by Microsoft on YouTube, he might have gained the ability to perform a password reset. "If that's true, then it's a colossal foul-up by YouTube that may concern other well-known brands who have established presences on the video network," warns Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant at Sophos.

Microsoft didn't comment about the method used to hijack its account, but has since regained control of it and restored the deleted videos. Meanwhile, the YouTube account of the user who claimed to be responsible has been terminated for violating community guidelines.

This incident comes after Sesame Street's YouTube channel was hijacked and used to display adult videos last week. In order to avoid falling victim to such attacks, users should employ strong and unique passwords and review their Google accounts to make sure no unwanted email addresses have access to them.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securityMicrosoftinternetGooglevideoyoutubeInternet-based applications and services

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?