Cryptocurrency Hackers Turn To Twitter To Run ScamsDate Written: August 25 2018 Written By: Samantha Joule Fow
There’s usually something interesting on Elon Musk’s Twitter feed. But when hackers got ahold of the billionaire’s login credentials, Tweets from the account started to get quite odd – particularly when the Elon impersonator started promising free cryptocurrency to Musk’s over 22 million followers.
Cryptocurrency and Hacking in The 21st Century
It’s no secret that the cryptocurrency community is populated by substantial number of tech-savvy folks. Some of these individuals are so savvy, in fact, that they can hack into your personal computer using cleverly-designed malware, spyware, or keystroke-tracking software. Anyone who has been through a ransomware attack or cybertheft knows that this is a very real threat. But fortunately for the rest of us, the most talented hackers have bigger fish to fry.
Over the past few years, cryptocurrency hacks have erased hundreds of millions of dollars from digital coin markets. Starting with the now-infamous Mt. Gox hack back in 2013, which nearly ended the cryptocurrency revolution before it even started, hackers have been running rampant in the cryptocurrency world, and it’s not clear what can be done to stop them.
High Profile Twitter Hacks Raise Concern
Of course, gaining unauthorized access to Elon Musk’s Twitter account and posting fake messages from the business mogul is a crime and a serious breach of online ethics. But it’s also pretty funny. And, beyond Elon’s inevitable frustration over the breach, it doesn’t appear that much harm was done.
Some users bought into the fake posts, thinking they were authentic Tweets from the billionaire who many believe is edging closer and closer to becoming this generation’s Howard Hughes, and one Twitter follower even accused Musk of stealing from people. But as crazy as the fake posts were, most of the concern about the incident arose around the fact that they were posted from an account where a fake Elon was able to secure Twitter-verified status.
Elon Musk may be the most recent high-profile Twitter hacking victim, but he’s certainly not the only one. In fact, Twitter accounts are becoming a key target for hackers. This is particularly true for cryptocurrency celebrities, including Vitalik Buterin (the co-founder of Ethereum) and famed cybersecurity expert John McAffee.
Both Buterin and McAffee’s Twitter accounts have been successfully impersonated by hackers, and all with Twitter-verified status. And of course, there was that other time Elon Musk’s Twitter account was impersonated back in February. In that hack, the fake Elon promised to give away 400 ETH to followers.
Free Cryptocurrency Scams Target Celebrities
At this very moment, there are countless fake accounts on Twitter and other social media outlets offering “free cryptocurrency” to unknowing potential victims. One successful Twitter-based cryptocurrency scam actually ripped off over $50,000 from platform users every day.
Since these scams are often successful, they are increasing in popularity. This makes public figures’ social media accounts particularly attractive for hackers looking to make a quick buck from a crypto scam. All a hacker has to do is impersonate a cryptocurrency celebrity, and then they have all the trust they need to run the scam. So, the next time a famous person you follow on social media offers you something for free, think again – it may be just another scam using celebrities to rip off every day folks.