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 PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesGooglesecurityMicrosoftinternetyoutubevideo

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

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?