Technology

PewDiePie Hacker Fan Quits After Hearing The FBI Is Looking For Him

Hacker Giraffe
TheDigitalArtist / Pixabay

The Twitter user known only as Hacker Giraffe has been in the news lately due to his contributions to the “Subscribe to PewDewPie” campaign. Now his stunts have gained him so much notoriety that even the FBI is reportedly trying to find him. This scared him so much that he has now bid farewell to hacking, at least for a while.

Why Hacker Giraffe is quitting

Hacker Giraffe first appeared in the news last month after he hacked thousands of printers worldwide to print fliers in support of the “Subscribe to PewDewPie” campaign. Then this week, he hacked Chromecast devices and smart TVs to show messages supporting the YouTuber.

His hacks were harmless and carried a message to help users prevent such hacks in the future. This helped him gain massive popularity, and in a matter of weeks, he picked up more than 25,000 followers on Twitter.

However, it appears his popularity was short-lived. All the tweets from his @HackerGiraffe Twitter account have now been deleted, except for one containing an audio clip in which he says he deleted his Twitter account but then recovered it later.

Hacker Giraffe also said in the audio clip that he has been getting death threats for some time now, and some of the threats were even directed at his home and family. Additionally, some users of his Discord server told him the FBI is building a case against him.

After hearing this, he became terrified and initially deleted all of his accounts, including PayPal, Patreon, Discord, GitHub and others. He also said he is living under the “constant pressure of being afraid of being caught and prosecuted [that] has been keeping me up and giving me all kinds of fears and panic attacks.”

He initially deleted his Twitter account but later recovered it. The hacker said he will keep the Twitter account and read direct messages but will no longer tweet, hack or do anything else.

“I’m escaping from all this. Paranoia won’t settle down. Will be watching DMs occasionally for important things. No tweets, no hacks, no anything for a while, please. I love you all. I hope what I’ve done has made the world just slightly safer,” Hacker Giraffe tweeted.

Was he doing anything illegal?

As of now, the FBI has not officially confirmed it is pursuing Hacker Giraffe. However, it would come as no surprise if the agency is following him, considering the buzz that he has generated in the last month or so.

Hacker Giraffe and fellow Twitter user j3ws3r took advantage of a vulnerability which enabled them to exploit routers with Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) enabled. The two were able to hack over 70,000 Chromecast-powered smart TVs. The vulnerability was about five years old, according to the hackers.

The hackers noted that after the printer hack, the number of printers exposed to the internet has come down. The Chromecast hack also pushed Google to issue a hotfix. Hacker Giraffe claims making people aware of these vulnerabilities was the primary motive of his hacks. The hackers even set up Patreon and social media accounts for the purpose of sharing and explaining their exploits.

They were doing what’s called “white hat hacking,” which is using vulnerabilities and exploits to expose flaws in the system rather than to harm people. Many hackers do such a thing; some do it for a bug bounty, while others do it to get fame. However, Hacker Giraffe did it to raise security awareness and to promote the “Subscribe to PewDiePie” campaign.

He also criticized mainstream media outlets for focusing only on the “Subscribe to PewDiePie” campaign and not the ethical aspect of their hacks. Further, he said that such news articles made him feel like a “blind bimbo” who is just a die-hard PewDiePie fan.

Fellow hacker j3ws3r reiterated the same thing:

Meanwhile, the battle between PewDewPie and Indian music label T-Series continues. This battle has been reported to be the root cause of why Hacker Giraffe came up with the printer hack, although j3ws3r has maintained that it was secondary after exposing security vulnerabilities. T-Series currently has about 78 million subscribers on YouTube, whereas PewDiePie has more than 79 million subscribers.