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7News YouTube Channel Hacked – AI Elon Musk Scam

Last Updated June 28, 2024 1:42 PM
Eddie Mitchell
Last Updated June 28, 2024 1:42 PM
Key Takeaways
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) deep fakes of Elon Musk promoting a crypto scam have been broadcast to over 100,000 people.
  • Elon Musk’s likeness and numerous companies are frequently used in deepfake scams.
  • Efforts to bring deepfakes under identity theft laws are underway.

A popular news channel had its YouTube hijacked by crypto scammers who broadcasted an AI-generated Elon Musk to thousands of viewers.

As generative AI becomes more powerful by the day, scammers are increasingly leaning on the technology to cheat victims out of their crypto assets.

An AI Crypto Scam

The three streams which have since been removed, displayed an AI representation of Musk advertising a crypto scam. Approximately 150,000 people were viewing these livestreams at the time of the hack.

The AI-Musk urged viewers to scan a Tesla-branded QR code on the screen and encouraged them to deposit money into the scheme, saying :

“Let’s make this evening unforgettable and double your wealth with Tesla. I am not joking, this is absolutely real and available to all of you,”

The 7News channel is currently down , but it’s worth noting that it boasts approximately 1.7 million subscribers. Though unverified, some reports claim that a person claimed to have sent $5 million.

This incident is further evidence that AI is a dangerous cybersecurity risk, especially in the crypto space.

AI-Generated Musk

The likeness of the billionaire boss of Tesla, SpaceX, X (formerly Twitter), is an unfortunate favorite amongst scammers.

Just last week a of Elon Musk promoting another crypto giveaway was broadcast to tens of thousands of viewers. In April , a YouTube account stream titled “Live: Solar Eclipse Spectacular 2024 of SpaceX” also showed a deepfake video of Elon Musk.

In this stream, AI-Musk urged users to scan the on-screen QR code, deposit crypto, and receive double in return. This livestream had over 95,000 viewers. Another stream, “Total Solar Eclipse: Through the Eyes of SpaceX”, reached 164k viewers.

It’s worth noting that potentially dozens of these streams are broadcasting to millions of people across multiple streaming sites.

The likeness of Taylor Swift , Donald Trump, and Joe Biden, have also been used for illicit deepfakes.

AI-Powered Scams

The surge in AI and its ongoing evolution has given scammers easy access to sophisticated tools. With approximately 66% of AI frauds being deepfakes, there are concerns that things could get out of hand in the near future.

Lawmakers and regulators are still playing catchup with AI. Looking at the UK for example, deepfake sharing is illegal, yet it remains legal to create them.

Due to the nature of the Internet and AI, it’s hard to discern where the deepfake originated from. This will hinder legal efforts to shut these operations down and prevent their illicit use.

Efforts are underway to bring illicit use of deepfakes under identity theft laws, though this may be a matter of ‘too little too late’.

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