PewDiePie mania results in hacking campaign against Chromecast, Google Home devices

The subscribe-to-PewDiePie hacking campaign still seems to be alive. According to a report by CNET, more than 5,500 smart TVs, Chromecast streamers and Google Home devices have been compromised by TheHackerGiraff to spread a message of security warning and to promote internet-sensation PewDiePie.

The hacker is reportedly the same person that forced thousands of printers around the world to promote PewDiePie. The compromised printers churned out pages showing “Subscribe to PewDiePie.” Currently, PewDiePie has nearly 79.5 million subscribers.

Furthermore, the affected smart devices attempt to play a YouTube video message that reads “Your Chromecast/Smart TV is exposed to the public internet and is exposing sensitive information about you!” The message also mentions a web link that offers help. A Google spokesperson mentioned to CNET that “Chromecast owners can fix the issue by changing their router settings.” One needs to turn off features such as Universal Plug and Play unless needed.

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“This is not an issue with Chromecast specifically, but is rather the result of router settings that make smart devices, including Chromecast, publicly reachable,” a spokesperson said. The cited source stated that the hacker said, “he was able to take over thousands of exposed Chromecasts and smart TVs using Shodan, a search engine for connected devices.” The devices that had open ports 8008 and 8443, were on the radar of the hacker as most smart devices connect to the internet by these.

The hacker seems to be just spreading a message and was not trying to seriously damage devices. However, this is still a hassle for victims that are unaware of technical knowledge of how to fix the particular issue by themselves.

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