Bill Gates’ YouTube Bitcoin Giveaway (Of Course Not)

More than 30 popular YouTube channels have suddenly started livecasting a talk by Bill Gates. In it, the audience is encouraged to send a small Bitcoin payment, with a promise they’ll double their money.

Obviously it’s a scam. But embarrassing for Microsoft and YouTube’s owner, Google.

Yes, this is the same Bill who said of Bitcoin, “I would short it if there was an easy way to.” In today’s SB Blogwatch, we buy high and sell low.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: Lockdown sessions.


BillG’s BTC

What’s the craic? Catalin Cimpanu reports—“Hacker hijacks YouTube accounts to broadcast Bill Gates-themed crypto Ponzi scam”:

 A hacker has hijacked … 30+ YouTube profiles … renamed them to various Microsoft brands, and is currently broadcasting a cryptocurrency Ponzi scam to tens of thousands of users, posing as a message from … Bill Gates. The hacks are part of a growing issue on YouTube.

Victims are tricked into sending a small sum of cryptocurrency to the scammer in order double their earnings but never get any funds in return. [It] is currently live streaming on the YouTube accounts using names such as Microsoft US, Microsoft Europe, Microsoft News, and others.

Some of the Bitcoin addresses listed in the scams had received thousands of US dollars at the time of writing. … Spokespersons for Microsoft and YouTube denied that hackers breached any of Microsoft’s verified official accounts.

And Mihir Sharma adds—“Fake BTC Giveaway … lures 30,000 on YouTube with 0.2 – 40 BTC reward”:

 While the video is being played, with Bill Gates talking about the future of Microsoft and Bitcoin, the text on the left side of the screen read that [Microsoft] has decided to hold a special giveaway for all the crypto-fans. … So far, the YouTube stream has been running continuously for … 18 hours.

Bitcoin isn’t the only cryptocurrency that is being used by the scammers. … Brad Garlinghouose, CEO of Ripple, slammed the scammers who tried to lure the views with a similar XRP giveaway scheme earlier.

At first, people assumed the accounts really belonged to Microsoft. Fabrizio Bulleri, for example—“Microsoft’s YouTube channels get hacked, promote crypto scams”:

 Multiple YouTube accounts belonging to Microsoft were hijacked by a hacker who is using them to carry out a ponzi scam. … YouTubers get their accounts taken over all the time, [but] it is hard to believe that official accounts of companies like Microsoft could be breached for these criminal purposes.

Many YouTubers have had their accounts taken over in recent months – and sometimes YouTube takes months to get them their accounts back. Sometimes, the YouTuber whose channel has been stolen never gets their account back – something that has frustrated many in the YouTube community who are upset over YouTube’s lack of attention to the issue.

Will Microsoft get preferential treatment?

Surely nobody’s dumb enough to fall for it? Justin Cauchon has bad news:

 This broadcast looks have collected over $45,000 in Bitcoin for the scammers so far. … How has YouTube not shut this down yet?

However, over at the real Microsoft, there’s a storm a-brewin’. Or so Simon Sharwood says—“Microsoft staff giggle beneath the weight of a 52,000-person Reply-All email storm”:

 Microsoft’s internal store shared a mail about discount software deals. … The email reached well beyond the US. … Which prompted an early Reply-All message asking whether the offer could cross borders.

Then the snowball started rolling. … Staff are now hitting Reply All for the sheer fun of it, posting frivolous messages that celebrate the ridiculousness of the situation. … While the mail storm is a hassle, it’s also a welcome distraction from the wholly-understandable-gloom many staff of the Seattle-based tech titan feel at this very trying time.

And Terry 6 hates the other five: [You’re fired—Ed.]

 There is a subspecies of human that can’t see why they shouldn’t reply to every email with the reply all button. I suspect they are the same idiots that feel the need to reply “no” to “does anyone…” emails.

Cue ex-Softy schadenfreude. Here’s cbanek for one:

 Well, I’m glad nothing has changed over there in blue badge land. I remember when they added the feature to outlook that would warn you “you’re about to reply to x number of people,” but I guess that got lost along the way.

Get off my lawn! sisk has seen it all before:

 Basically the new generation needs their own Bedlam DL3 moment to teach them not to reply all.

Their own whatnow moment? Larry Osterman explains—“Me Too!”:

 One way of telling how long a Microsoft employee has been working here is their reaction to the phrase “Bedlam DL3.” … About 3 of the old-timers in the group responded, in chorus “Me Too!”

Remember, there are 25,000 people on this mailing list. … And almost to a person, they used the “reply-all” command.

In addition, there were some really helpful people on the mailing list too: They didn’t respond with just “Me Too!” They responded with: … Stop using reply-all.

At a minimum, 15,600,000 email messages [were] delivered into people’s mailboxes. [And] collectively consumed … 195 gigabytes of bandwidth.

Compounding this problem was a bug in the MTA that caused [Exchange] to crash … when it received a message with more than 8,000 recipients. But it crashed only after processing … 8,000 recipients. [Then] it would retry to deliver the message, sending to the same 8,000 recipients and crashing.

It took about two days of constant work before the email system recovered.

Meanwhile, the lights are on, but tonyedgecombe is at home:

 It’s probably about somebody leaving their lights on.

And Finally:

Lockdown Sessions—this is GLORIOUS😭

Previously in And Finally


You have been reading SB Blogwatch by Richi Jennings. Richi curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don’t have to. Hate mail may be directed to @RiCHi or sbbw@richi.uk. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

Image source: Claudio Toledo (cc:by)

Richi Jennings

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Richi Jennings

Richi is a foolish independent industry analyst, editor, writer, and fan of the Oxford comma. He’s previously written or edited for Computerworld, Petri, Microsoft, HP, Cyren, Webroot, Micro Focus, Osterman Research, Ferris Research, NetApp on Forbes and CIO.com. His work has won awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors, ABM/Jesse H. Neal, and B2B Magazine.

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