The YouTube Hack Attempts Keep Coming. Can Phone Carriers Be Trusted?

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  • Just a week after our interview with Boogie2988 about his hacking at VidCon, which was just a few days after IISuperwomanII, WatchMojo, and other YouTubers were hacked, another high-profile YouTuber ended up in a hacker’s crosshairs.

    This time, the target is h3h3 Productions (whom we also covered recently for their takedown of the apparent CS:GO Lotto scam). Much like in Boogie2988’s hack, the attacker went after h3h3 Productions’ Ethan Klein by gaining access to Klein’s phone.

    There are two key differences, however: first, it appears that Klein was lucky enough to catch the attacker before he or she managed to gain access to his other accounts; and second, Boogie2988 is on Verizon and Klein is on T-Mobile. In other words, two of the four major carriers have now been directly implicated in hacking attempts of popular creators — despite both Boogie2988 and Klein requesting extra security on their accounts in advance of being attacked.

    Both Klein and Boogie2988 have expressed extreme disappointment in their wireless carriers for giving up their personal information so easily. According to the video above, Klein is even considering suing T-Mobile. Just because Verizon and T-Mobile are the first to be named does not, however, mean that AT&T and Sprint are invulnerable to the social engineering that resulted in these hacks. It remains to be seen if they will yet be named in a similar attack, or what counter-measures any or all carriers may put in place to prevent attacks like this from happening in the future.

    So what can creators and other high-profile people do? In our interview, Boogie2988 gave some tips. From that article:

    “Proactive prevention is the best step you can take,” said Boogie. “Take every step possible to make sure your accounts are secure.”

    What specific steps does Boogie recommend? “Never reuse a password,” he said. “Frequently change passwords. Use two-step authentication.” For people in the public eye, Boogie also recommends that you “work with your service providers to make sure they know you’re a high profile target.”

    What do you think? Can we trust wireless carriers in the wake of these hacks? Let us know in the comments below or @WhatsTrending on Twitter.