Using fake or hacked accounts of high-profile celebrities and brands has been an old trait of cybercriminals to lure victims into various scams. But this time, the massive coordinated attack on the Twitter accounts of the world’s most recognized brands could be called the worst hack of a major social media platform yet.
Largest ever crypto scam via Twitter
Some hackers took the cryptocurrency scams to a new level, by hijacking the Twitter accounts of a large number of high-profile celebrities and brands and abusing them in a coordinated manner to promote the scam within a duration of a few hours.
- On July 15, around 130 Twitter accounts belonging to several high-profile celebrities, businessmen, and organizations, were abused for promoting a bitcoin giveaway scam.
- Accounts of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Kanye West were seen requesting donations in the cryptocurrency. A post on the Bill Gate’s account was promising a return of $2000 upon payment of $1,000 on provided bitcoin address. Elon Musk’s account also had a tweet promising to pay double any Bitcoin payment sent to the address of his digital wallet "for the next 30 minutes". Several other celebrities had similar scam stories.
- The attackers had probably gained access to Twitter's internal administrative tools via social engineering, through which they were able to post the tweets directly, bypassing all security layers. With this, they managed to collect around 12 BTC via more than 320 transactions on one of the associated wallet addresses within a few minutes of posting the tweets.
Hard time for Twitter
In June 2020, Twitter had sent emails to its business clients, informing them about the data breach incident which may have exposed the personal and financial information of some of its clients.
Recent Bitcoin scams
In June 2020, hackers were seen using Bitcoin vanity addresses to create fake accounts with brands associated with Elon Musk, through which they were able to make around 214 Bitcoins (or $2 Million) in the past two months.