Hackers hijack 70,000 Google Chromecasts to promote PewDiePie on victims’ TVs

HACKERS are hijacking the televisions of unsuspecting victims to promote video game YouTuber PewDiePie.

The attack involves taking control of Google Chromecast streaming sticks, and then showing a message asking people to subscribe to the PewDiePie YouTube channel.

PewDiePie Chromecast hack
The hack brings up an image promoting PewDiePie on your TV
YouTube

PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, has an estimated net worth of £15.9million thanks to his online antics.

And he currently has the most subscribers in the world, with more than 78million loyal fans who want him to stay in the top spot.

Two such fans with hacking know-how are now taking advantage of a router setting that can give them access to your Google smart gadgets – like Chromecast.

Google Chromecast is a streaming stick that lets you watch apps like Netflix or YouTube on your TV, but it can also be hijacked if your router settings aren’t correct.

PewDiePie Chromecast hack
It also advises victims to tweak their router settings to avoid being hacked in the future
YouTube

The attack is being called CastHack, and is perpetrated by HackerGiraffe and j3ws3r, who claim to be “educating and protecting people” about the dangers of open router settings.

“We want to help you, and also our favorite YouTubers (mostly PewDiePie),” the hackers explained.

“We’re only trying to protect you and inform you of this before someone takes real advantage of it.”

A website dedicated to the hack has been set up, counting the total number of devices attacked as over 70,000.

And users are getting frustrated, as one affected user on Reddit explains: “Every 20 minutes or so my TV switches to some crappy YouTube video about PewDiePie with sh***y rap music and a #ChromeCastHack hashtag.

“Anyone know how to stop this? It’s driving me bonkers.”

PewDiePie Chromecast hack
A website tracking the hack says more than 72,000 devices have been affected
CastHack / The Sun

To stop the attack, you need to go into your router’s settings and turn off a feature called UPnP – or ‘Universal Plug and Play’.

It’s designed to make it easier for your devices to find each other on the same WiFi network, but it can also allow people to access devices from outside your WiFi network too.

This isn’t the first time PewDiePie’s fans have pulled a hacking stunt to get the YouTube star more subscribers.

Back in December, HackerGiraffe is believed to have hacked 50,000 printers, producing paper messages asking people to subscribe to PewDiePie on YouTube.

PewDiePie is the world’s most successful YouTube star, with more than 78million subscribers
AP:Associated Press

Victims of the attack posted surprised messages on Twitter claiming their work printer had been hacked.

Users posted images showing the exact same message print-out – a piece of paper promoting PewDiePie.

One wrote: “On Wednesday our work printer was hacked! This message printed out on our cheques.”

The message itself read: “PewDiePie is in trouble and he needs your help to defeat T-Series!
“PewDiePie, the currently most-subscribed-to channel on YouTube, is at stake of losing his position as the number one position by an Indian company called T-Series, that simply uploads videos of Bollywood trailers and songs.”

Last month, hacked printers produced a print-out asking YouTube users to subscribe to PewDiePie’s channel

The message asked recipients to unsubscribe from T-Series and subscribe to PewDiePie.

PewDiePie doesn’t appear to have asked anyone to hack any printers – but it happened nonetheless.

A Twitter user named TheHackerGiraffe claimed responsibility for the hack, and posted a thread detailing exactly how it worked.

Do you think PewDiePie’s fans have simply gone too far? Let us know in the comments!


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