[Update 12/12/2019:] Astartes tweeted out that they managed to have their account restored after nearly a monthly of downtime.
YouTube Channel restored! I was about to lose hope but YT came through in the end woohoo! Thank you to everyone for the support! The community's response has been amazing. Now let's celebrate with some Part 5 gifness. pic.twitter.com/zQumduvs6A
— Astartes (@Astartes40k) December 12, 2019
[Original article:] More YouTubers have fallen prey to the recent deluge of spear phishing going around that has resulted in plenty of YouTubers having their accounts hijacked and used for nefarious purposes. Brazilian synth music maker, AstroPhysics, and Warhammer 40K content creator, Astartes, both had their channels hacked and taken down.
AstroPhysics tweeted about the ongoing saga, and how YouTube has been slow to to fix the issue after his account was hacked. On November 5th, 2019 he shared an e-mail via tweet from YouTube saying they were still investigating the issue.
“Thank you for submitting your information and I understand that this may be complicated for you, but I have not yet had any updates from our Team of Experts who are continuing to review your case. As soon as there is more news I will contact you”
2 weeks man pic.twitter.com/SzkIHadPfX
— Astrophysics (@astrosynth) November 5, 2019
He attempted to get their attention but it was to no avail.
He made a video on a separate account explaining that back on October 24th, 2019 his account was hacked, and it was renamed and rebranded.
AstroPhysics was simply told to wait by Team YouTube.
As he mentions in the video, his channel had accrued 33,000 subscribers since he started it, and now it’s been hijacked by scammers.
According to Upper Echelon Gaming, many of these scammers have been using the hijacked accounts to livestream crytopcurrency scams to financially infiltrate and pilfer users out of money. They managed to lift $15,000 from YouTube users using one of the accounts they hijacked.
YouTube has been extremely slow in addressing these issues, and as pointed out by AstroPhysics, it’s been weeks since the hacking occurred. Most of the time it comes in the form of brand partnerships from an organization that sets up meetings and registration portals and then they take the information from there. They’ve been posing as a crypto company known as Ripple lately, so for most YouTubers it looks like a legitimate organization with hundreds of thousands of followers and a massive brand reach.
AstroPhysics doesn’t exactly say how they got a hold of his account, but he’s been making music in the meantime to help cope with the loss of his channel.
Forgot to post here but, you can download my Hacking To The Gate remix here on my bandcamp for free (and also all of my stuff) https://t.co/sRTAGwq2F5
— Astrophysics (@astrosynth) November 15, 2019
AstroPhysics has been adamant in contacting YouTube regularly about the issue and keeping a pin on his Twitter account about his account being hijacked, but so far it doesn’t appear as if YouTube has done much more than tell him to wait while they look into the issue. All the meanwhile his content has been taken down and deleted while the hackers are running away with his channel subscribers.
It’s really sad for me to be bothering you guys with this subject. It seems that the invasor deleted all of my videos now. @TeamYouTube I’ve been in touch with the support for 2 weeks, no solution, no explanation. https://t.co/OHiDaKIUHI
They DESTROYED my channel
— Astrophysics (@astrosynth) November 6, 2019
But AtsroPhysics wasn’t the only one recently affected by this wave of content creator scams.
The Astartes YouTube channel that creates Warhammer 40K CGI fan-films has been hacked as well.
The account was not only compromised but also suspended, and he had his appeal denied.
@TeamYouTube This YOUTUBE Page was hacked this week: https://t.co/VYs1HOJ2hj he has sent an appeal in but it was denied, can we please get someone whose is not an automated response to look into this problem and solve it, PLEASE EVERYONE RETWEET THIS SO IT GETS THEIR ATTENTION!
— Chapter Master Valrak (@CMValrak) November 15, 2019
Fellow content creator, Chapter Master Valrak, made a two and a half minute video discussing the issue and attempting to bring awareness to the wider community about the Astartes account being hacked.
Details on the hack are sketchy but YouTube appears to be giving the CGI artists the cold shoulder, which is much worse than what some other YouTubers have encountered when their accounts were compromised.
So far the only thing that seems to work is bombarding the Team YouTube Twitter with a request for investigation, usually spurred on by a larger YouTuber. Otherwise they simply ignore the requests and go on about their day as if it doesn’t matter.
(Thanks for the news tip InquisitorDust)