WSJ Webpage Defaced to Support PewDiePie

Pewdiepie wsj hack

The hack comes on the heels of the PewDiePie-supporting printer attacks over the weekend.


A webpage owned by the Wall Street Journal was hacked on Monday, in an attempt to promote YouTube celebrity “PewDiePie.”

The incident comes on the heels of a separate hack relating to the Swedish YouTuber, comedian and video game commentator, whose given name is Felix Kjellberg. Over the weekend, a hacking group claimed that they hijacked hundreds of thousands of printers globally to print pamphlets promoting PewDiePie.

The hacked Wall Street Journal-owned webpage, tweeted out by PewDiePie himself, was a short note titled “WallStreet Journal Public Apology to PewDiePie.” The webpage was not affiliated with the WSJ’s newsroom, but instead an arm of its advertising unit.

The hack comes as PewDiePie is currently going head-to-head with T-Series, an Indian music record label and film company, for the top YouTube spot. Both YouTube channels have at least 73 million subscribers.

The Wall Street Journal became entangled in all this after February when it reported on PewDiePie’s use of anti-Semitic imagery and language. The famed YouTube personality then blasted the WSJ for taking his words out of context.

WSJ Pewdiepie hack

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“WallStreet Journal would like to apologize to pewdiepie,” the hackers’ note reads. “Due to misrepresentation by our journalists, those of whome have now been fired, we are sponsoring pewdiepie to reach maximum subscribers and beat TSeries to 80million.”

The remainder of the post  alludes to a popular meme from viral Youtube personality VoiceOverPete: “We also need your credit card number, expiry date, and the lucky 3 digits on the back to win the chicken dinner in fortnite.”

A Wall Street Journal spokesperson told Threatpost that they are aware of the issue and that the webpage has since been removed (the archive is still available).

“The page was owned by WSJ Custom Studios, a unit of the advertising arm, which is not affiliated with The Wall Street Journal newsroom,” The spokesperson told Threatpost. “We have launched a full investigation.”

The incident comes as hackers over the weekend hijacked what they said were hundreds of thousands of printers to print messages in support of PewDiePie. The hackers, go under the Twitter handles @HackerGiraffe and @j3ws3r, dubbed the attack on Twitterverse as #PrinterHack2.

However, in regards to this latest hack, @HackerGiraffe said via Twitter, “I don’t support defacement. Now @j3ws3r and I will be painted all across media as evil hackers that promoted kids to illegally hijack a media company’s website to promote @pewdiepie.”

The WSJ did not respond to further questions from Threatpost about how the webpage was hacked or the timeline.

This post was updated on Dec. 18 at 2pm ET to reflect that part of the hackers’ post alluded to a popular meme.  

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  • Brian on

    The credit card portion was not a phishing attempt, it's was a reference to a fortnite meme.
  • Kasey on

    Phishing attempt? No it's really not. ^^ Brian is right, and you guys just need to review the full story before posting. While you were right in WSJ was taking this Youtuber's words out of context, you then proceeded to to the same with the "hackers". Ok. At least its and improvement I guess?
  • mememaster on

    i would like to point out that that was not a "phishing attempt" as you called it, that was a reference for beloved meme and youtube voiceover pete(check him out), who's most know for his "i need the 3 numbers on the back of your credit card" joke.
  • Poppy Harlow on

    Oopsie Doopsie!
  • Ed on

    Hilarious! Great Job, 9 year olds.
  • Cole on

    Saying “defaced” makes it sound way worst than it was, it was just a harmless joke. If anything it’s the WSJ’s fault for having weak enough security that they can be hacked by some 9 year olds
  • Andrew on

    This is actually pathetic. Why are journalists so out of the loop? You don't understand a thing about what you're talking about. You realize that PewDiePie doesn't represent all 70 million plus of his subscribers? Because from all this news lately, it seems like you don't. Also, you specifically Lindsey, need to really understand a JOKE. I know! It's hard for people like you. When you say, "The note also details an apparent phishing attempt: 'We also need your credit card number, expiry date, and the lucky 3 digits on the back to win the chicken dinner in fortnite.'" THIS IS NOT SERIOUS! If I really have to say that and explain why it's a joke, then I'm sorry, I cannot help you, or anybody like you.
  • Gloria on

    Facts Brian
  • T-Series on

    This is hardly defacement. I could have defaced a desk at school by drawing a big planet the size of jupiter and get away with it. The next day I would come back to the class and erase it. Same thing essentially with trolling the SJW just to have it removed. Who cares.
  • imicca on

    It is so sad to see adults who don't understand memes jump into conclusions without doing basic google search what is "he needs your help and all he needs is your credit card number". this is why young people hate journalists, you are so disattached with their culture.
  • bill smith on

    yeah i REALLY bet you are looking deep into this. you probably looked into so much material before writing this article. journalism really pays off and is rewarding isnt it?
  • Michael on

    Why are people whom know nothing about memes/ meme culture allowed to report on these things? Why not get someone who actually knows what they're talking about? This is gamer culture appropriation and only gamers should be allowed to talk about such issues. GAMERS, RISE UP.
    • Polly on

      Lol - memers Are a class of people? Do you want a protected status in the law for memers too ?
  • Wessley William Smiley on

    WSJ deserves everything it gets. Dishonest and shameless organization.
  • Just another wahmen on

    Irony is, these news articles are constantly defacing PewDiePie's name with false facts & when he didn't even ask them to hack their webpage or promote anything of that sort , y'all call that defacing.

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