Hackers hijack 70,000 Google devices to promote PewDiePie's channel

4 January 2019, 15:34 | Updated: 4 January 2019, 15:35

pewdiepie google chromecast hack
Picture: PewDiePie
Benedict Townsend

By Benedict Townsend

This is going a bit far now

Hackers have taken control of people's Google devices in order to promote PewDiePie's YouTube channel.

The tech pranksters managed to access over 70,000 (70,000!) Chromecasts, Google's TV streaming gadget, and forced them to display an image of Felix, along with the message:

"PewDiePie, the #1 most subscribed channel on YouTube is about to be overthrown by Indian music company T-Series. Please go on YouTube and subscribe to him ASAP."

It also includes a footnote that says "instructions on how to protect your TV at the end of the announcement (1 min long)" - because the hackers are claiming they did this to highlight security weaknesses in the Chromecast.

Google confirmed that they were aware of what happened. A spokesperson said:

"We have received reports from users who have had an unauthorised video played on their TVs via a Chromecast device".

Google Chromecast
The Google Chromecast. Picture: Google

As you probably know, PewDiePie is currently the most subscribed channel on YouTube but he might soon be moved down to second place by Indian YouTube channel T-Series.

T-Series primarily post posts music videos and trailers on its channel and have, for a while now, been very, very close to overtaking Felix as the most subscribed YouTube channel in the world. However, Felix has been holding on - and has been supported by other creators including Markiplier and JackSepticEye.

This isn't the first bit of hacking that has been done to promote Felix's channel - at the end of last year, someone by the name of 'TheHackerGiraffe' managed to hack 50,000 printers and force them to print a message encouraging people to subscribe to PewDiePie. However, they are now being investigated by the FBI, so maybe that isn't something you should try yourself at home.

pewdiepie printer hack
The hacked printer message. Picture: other

PewDiePie also hit headlines recently when he released his own version of the YouTube Rewind, which proved significantly more popular than the official video released by YouTube itself.

It's fun to watch Felix and T-Series battle it out - but maybe stop hacking innocent people, everyone. Thanks.