The creator of the popular Warhammer 40k CGI fan film Astartes has reported that ownership of the YouTube account has been stolen from him, becoming the latest victim to the growing issue of account hacking currently sweeping across YouTube.
On November 14th, the creator of Astartes published an update to his Patreon account alerting his patrons that his “YouTube account and Astartes channel have been hacked to some degree.”
A follow-up post frustratingly informed fans that “formal appeals through the YT system were rejected, which is frustrating as I don’t think an actual human has looked at the issue.”
Related: Epic Fan Made Warhammer 40K Animated Video Goes Viral – Astartes vs. Psyker
As of writing, whomever currently owns the channel has not made any alterations, with all four episodes of Astartes still available for viewing and the channel’s about page still reads as it did when under original ownership.
A user alleging to be the Astartes creator recently joined Twitter, posting two tweets thanking Warhammer 40k YouTuber Chapter Master Valrak for spreading awareness of the issue and asking other fans to share Chapter Master Valrak’s initial tweet in an effort to “bring some attention to the case.”
Thank you Valrak! #freeastartes
— Astartes (@Astartes40k) November 15, 2019
Thank you for the support @CMValrak ! If everyone could share this to hopefully bring some attention to the case it would be much appreciated! @YouTube https://t.co/EsItHmdzGq
— Astartes (@Astartes40k) November 15, 2019
Related: Marvel Comics to Publish New Warhammer Comics
The creator of Astartes is not alone in his frustrations and desperation, as YouTube has recently seen a surge in account hacking incidents across the site wherein a malicious party is able to steal ownership of a channel from its rightful owner.
In this recent wave of incidents, hackers used the traditional phishing scam of directing users to fake URLs and asking them to submit their respective login credentials or sending virus-laden download which infect a user’s computer and allow their information to be stolen.
These scams have recently begun to target the YouTube gaming community, with numerous gaming YouTubers reporting successful, recent attacks on their channel, including Ircha Gaming, who has since regained ownership of her channel:
MarcoStyle, whose channel was used to host a livestream which scammed viewers out of (roughly) $15,000 USD, was also hacked before ownership was successfully returned to him:
And David Angel, who has not only lost ownership of his channel, but has reported that the hackers’ actions resulted in the termination of his channel. In addition, he has stopped hearing responses from YouTube regarding his requests for assistance:
Well, nothing yet either. Channel is still terminated, no access, no email followup, nothing. This is now Day 8. @TeamYouTube, I’m honestly unsure what to say. Every few hours over the last few days, I’ve been checking to see if something is new. I’m losing hope at this point. pic.twitter.com/iDuujteueh
— David Angel (@Sarumonin) November 15, 2019
When sent “a laundry list of questions” regarding the recent wave of hacking (and specifically the attack on MarcoStyle’s channel) by Forbes Senior Contributor Paul Tassi, YouTube responded with a short statement:
“We take account security very seriously and regularly notify users when we detect suspicious activity. We encourage users to enable two-factor authentication as part of Google’s account Security Checkup, which decreases the risk of hacking. If a user has reason to believe their account was compromised, they can notify our team to secure the account and regain control.”
This is an almost identical statement to the one given in response to a wave of similar attacks reported in September, though at the time YouTube added that they had “not seen evidence of an increase in hacking attempts.”
“We have not seen evidence of an increase in hacking attempts over the weekend. We take account security very seriously and regularly notify users when we detect suspicious activity. We encourage users to enable two-factor authentication as part of Google’s account Security Checkup, which decreases the risk of hacking. If a user has reason to believe their account was compromised, they can notify our team to secure the account and regain control. “