New Deep Fake Technology Used For Crypto Scams

Tyler Cross
Tyler Cross Senior Writer
Tyler Cross Tyler Cross Senior Writer

A new report from researchers with Bitdefender labs sheds light on the methods hackers are using to stream-jack high-profile YouTube personalities, which has been steadily increasing over the last few years.

For years, scammers have used various social engineering tactics to obtain YouTube access tokens for any influencer on the platform with a large following. Once they get access to the account, they can easily change all of the original creator’s videos, plus change their profile name, profile picture, and banner.

The scammers will quickly reorganize the YouTuber’s channel to mimic a legitimate organization, usually cryptocurrency news platforms or crypto exchanges. They can then take advantage of their newfound audience to push crypto scams on unsuspecting viewers.

They’ll decorate their videos with all sorts of gimmicks, from advertising get-rich-quick schemes to encouraging users to visit fraudulent (and often dangerous) websites. Bitdefender’s researchers uncovered a scam that used deep-fake technology powered by AI to create a loop of the former CEO of MicroStartegy US (a legitimate company) telling users that they should participate by scanning a QR code.

“The phony websites are usually hosted on domains that resemble the name of the impersonated company or its former CEO, or simpler domains that include the symbols of the cryptocurrencies used in the fake giveaways,” Bitdefender said in a blog post.

Another major example they illustrate was the takeover of the official SpaceX YouTube account — SpaceX’s social media accounts were hacked earlier this week. The hackers were able to completely redesign the channel within minutes to begin pushing a crypto scheme.

Theft incurred from cryptocurrency schemes totaled more than $24 billion in 2023.

If you ever find yourself trading cryptocurrency, go to extreme lengths to verify the legitimacy of any exchange or wallet you install. Never listen to a social media account attempt to sell you crypto, whether it’s a charming celebrity pitching Bitcoin, or a suspicious YouTube account attempting to sell you a get-rich-quick scheme.

About the Author
Tyler Cross
Tyler Cross
Senior Writer

About the Author

Tyler is a writer at SafetyDetectives with a passion for researching all things tech and cybersecurity. Prior to joining the SafetyDetectives team, he worked with cybersecurity products hands-on for more than five years, including password managers, antiviruses, and VPNs and learned everything about their use cases and function. When he isn't working as a "SafetyDetective", he enjoys studying history, researching investment opportunities, writing novels, and playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends."

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