A shocking cyberattack targeted the renowned Indian comedian Tanmay Bhat, resulting in the hacking of his official YouTube channel. With a massive subscriber count of over 4.4 million, Bhat’s channel was abruptly renamed “Tesla Corp” by the perpetrators. To compound the damage, all of Bhat’s videos were deleted from the channel.
Bhat took to Twitter to share the unfortunate incident, revealing that both his YouTube and Gmail accounts had been compromised. Expressing his disappointment, he disclosed that the hackers managed to bypass the two-factor authentication he had implemented for enhanced security. Urgently seeking assistance, he reached out to Google and YouTube, tweeting, “Hi guys – my YouTube/Gmail account has been hacked. 2FA bypassed. I need urgent help. Please DM!”
Further elaborating on the incident, Bhat called on YouTube to take immediate action. He disclosed that the hackers initiated a live stream on his compromised YouTube channel, which was quickly set to private. Pleading with YouTube’s support team, Bhat tweeted, “@TeamYouTube, my channel is hacked and a live stream has begun. Please help!”
Regrettably, Bhat’s case is not an isolated incident. It has come to light that several other notable YouTubers, including stand-up comedian Aishwarya Mohanraj and YouTuber Abdu Rozik, have also fallen victim to similar hacking attacks. The hackers followed a consistent pattern by renaming the YouTube channels to “Tesla” and replacing the profile pictures with Tesla’s logo. Even the cover photos were replaced with images of Tesla cars.
The audacity of the hackers goes further, as they live stream through these compromised YouTube accounts. The live stream titles boldly announce, “Tesla Unveils the All-New Model S Plaid 2024 Today! Live Coverage with Elon Musk!” Unfortunately, the affected channels remain unrecovered. While some have had all their videos deleted, Bhat’s channel still shows 473 videos, though they are all listed as private.
In another distressing incident, journalist Barkha Dutt’s YouTube channel, known as “Mojo Story,” suffered a similar fate. The hackers deleted all the videos from her channel, leaving her devastated. However, there is a glimmer of hope as Dutt’s account has since been restored, and all the videos are once again accessible on the platform.
These recent hacking incidents underscore the increasing vulnerability of high-profile social media accounts. They serve as a stark reminder for individuals and organisations to remain vigilant and prioritize robust security measures to protect their digital assets from cyber threats.