How the PewDiePie Printer Hacks Turned Toxic

This week on CYBER, Motherboard talks about how a PewDiePie superfan and hacker was burned by YouTubers.
Screen Shot 2019-01-15 at 10
Image: YouTube/ Composition: Jason Koebler

In November, 50,000 printers started suddenly printing a message urging recipients to subscribe to PewDiePie—YouTube’s most popular star ever, with 80 million subscribers. It came with a warning, too: That the printers were hacked because they were dangerously exposed to the internet.

A month later, the same hacker, known as HackerGiraffe, struck again, this time hacking smart TVs and Chromecast devices to autoplay a video promoting PewDiePie and urging them to fix their exposed devices.

Things only got crazier from there. A few days later, HackerGiraffe released a remorseful statement detailing the harassment they endured from PewDiePie fans and haters. They feared the FBI, and for their personal safety.

HackerGiraffe ended their transmission by saying they were hanging up hacking forever. How did something that started in good fun become so toxic?

This week’s episode was produced by Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, recorded by Mitch Rackin, and edited by John Northcraft. Thanks for listening to this week’s episode. If you liked the show, give us a review on Apple Podcasts, or tell your friends about us. We’ll be back with more next week.