In a series of tweets posted over the course of three days, the Neebs Gaming YouTube channel, that has nearly two million subscribers, announced that its YouTube account had been hacked.
Urging subscribers not to click on any links, as they were likely put there by the attackers, the channel also tagged YouTube and pleaded for help in solving the problem as quickly as possible.
URGENT: It looks like our YouTube account has been hacked. PLEASE DO NOT CLICK ON ANY LINKS IN OUR VIDEOS. Hackers are known for attaching bogus links to hacked accounts. we will keep you posted once the situation has been resolved @YouTube please help us with this
— Neebs Gaming (@NeebsOfficial) February 15, 2020
YouTube responded in the Twitter thread with an entirely useless comment that read, “Sorry to hear about this – can you still sign in to your YouTube channel?,” and then linking the creator to tips on how to add “extra layers of security.”
One Twitter user commented that their own YouTube account had been hacked – five days prior – with Google’s video platform still failing to react and resolve the situation, and then wished Neebs Gaming better luck.
However, the next day, February 16, the channel announced they were now completely locked out of the YouTube account.
We want to thank everyone for their support while we try to get this issue taken care of. We're completely locked out of our @YouTube channel so there will be no uploads/videos until @ytcreators gets this figured out.
— Neebs Gaming (@NeebsOfficial) February 16, 2020
While initially advising users to simply avoid clicking links but continue to watch newly uploaded video, by this point it became clear there would be no new uploads in the foreseeable future.
Around this time, the channel’s name was changed to CoinBase Pro, and all videos deleted from its home and videos tabs.
And still, no useful reaction from YouTube.
Then came February 17, with Neebs Gaming still without access to the channel – but now, apparently, YouTube was working to resolve the serious problem that hit one of its creators.
Update: We still don't have access to our channels but we know that YT is working on it. Obviously, it's not happening as fast as we want it to but hopefully we won't have to wait much longer. We can't thank you guys enough for your continued support. We'll keep you posted
— Neebs Gaming (@NeebsOfficial) February 17, 2020
The case demonstrated a two-fold problem: first, YouTube’s extremely slow response time to what are vitally important issues for its community of creators, an almost arrogant lack of interest.
And second, the trend of YouTube livestream scams that’s lately been increasing on the cryptocurrency scene.
Neebs Gaming appears to be the victim of one such scam, when attackers took the channel over to upload a fraudulent, Ponzi-scheme video asking those participating for money and promising 10 times returns.
According to Crypto Mod, the hacker behind this attack managed to quickly make $23,000 thanks to the fake livestream.
And while YouTube took down the stream “pretty quickly” – the Neebs Gaming channel remained hacked as of late February 17.