Two hackers have claimed responsibility for an initiative that’s streaming a message featuring YouTube creator Felix Kjellberg to open devices, including Smart TVs and Google Home.
Motherboard reported today that a hacker duo called HackerGiraffe and j3ws3r have claimed responsibility for the hack through a website explaining the situation to affected users. Hacked devices display a message from the duo that asks viewers to subscribe to Kjellberg’s channel before the YouTuber is “overthrown” by Indian entertainment company T-Series. The message also points people toward the website, which instructs those hacked on how to prevent a similar hack in the future.
“If you came here because you’re a victim of #CastHack, then know that your Chromecast/SmartTV/GoogleHome is exposed to the public internet, and is leaking sensitive information related to your device and home,” the site reads.
The duo said they’re also the same folks from the earlier printer hack that sent similar messages of support for Kjellberg to unlocked printers. The hack is similar: The devices are connected to the internet and unlocked, which allows the hackers to force media to play, according to the hackers’ own account on the site.
“We want to help you, and also our favorite YouTubers (mostly PewDiePie). We’re only trying to protect you and inform you of this before someone takes real advantage of it,” the hackers said. “Imagine the consequences of having access to the information above.”
As noted by Motherboard, the hackers aren’t necessarily looking to do harm to those they’re hacking. They’re seemingly interested in exposing vulnerabilities behind the platforms involved and instructing those impacted by the hack on how to fix it—hopefully protecting them from someone looking to do more than just promote Kjellberg’s YouTube channel.
It’s a slightly different vibe than the pro-Kjellberg message posted by hackers to the Wall Street Journal website in December. During that incident, hackers posted a message that addressed a Wall Street Journal investigation into anti-Semitic remarks made by Kjellberg. It, too, referenced the ongoing subscriber drive to keep Kjellberg’s channel as the most popular on YouTube.