Just as 2020 couldn’t have gotten any worse, shockwaves went out in the crypto sphere when an unprecedented social engineering attack took the micro blogging platform Twitter by Storm. The hack took control of the Twitter platform and used top verified accounts for a social engineering attack soliciting funds from unsuspecting followers. Whats clear from the initial reports is that due to sheer incompetence from the Twitter’s Technical team the hack wasn’t contained and led to a security breach resulting in compromised Profiles of high profile Billionaires and Celebrities. Billionaires such as Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and the 2020 Presidential candidates Joe Biden & Kanye West are some of the many prominent figures that have been targeted by hackers on Twitter in what might be the biggest Bitcoin scam yet. 2020 Crypto Mega hack is something that we have never seen before.
2020 Crypto Mega hack Overview
High profile Twitter accounts were quickly disabled following a massive hack that took place on the social networking platform on Wednesday evening. These high profile accounts include but are not limited to Bill Gates, Kanye West, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and two times former U.S President Barrack Obama. Moreover, the largest Bitcoin exchange,
@Binance was also hacked on twitter. Although people may have suspected the high profile accounts being hacked as a scam; Exchanges and Cryptocurrency industry giants may have made it more believable.
The Binance Twitter hack and the Coinbase Twitter hack were able to intercept people’s adamancy. Interestingly, industry giants such as Apple weren’t spared from the hack either followed by CashApp and Uber.
Crypto industry giants and celebrities such as Ripple, Bitcoin, Creator of Litecoin Charlie Lee, and BitTorrent’s CEO Justin Sun also fell victim to the attack on Wednesday. Following the attack, Bittorrent’s CEO, Justin Sun has also announced a whopping $1 million bounty in exchange for Hackers who are responsible for the attack.
Who is behind it?
Among the myriad of high profile accounts that were attacked, one phrase was common; Cryptoforhealth. The Binance hack and crypto industry giants had the same message template across multiple tweets.
This prompted a sudden rise in suspicions of the crypto community. Although quickly flagged as a threat, The Cryptoforhealth.com domain seems to have been privately registered in the United States with no ties to the crypto industry.
Experts suggest that third-party applications that moderate Tweets and had access to the Twitter API are most likely responsible for the wave of attacks. However, the social media giant blames it on a “socially- engineered attack” that has successfully targeted its employees with access to internal systems and tools.
The Reddit community has chimed in and speculated that the hack may have been because of a Twitter employee getting phished or trojan-horsed through a third-party platform. As a lot of network attacks have taken place, websites and people running WireShark to probe all open ports on the internet are trying to inject their code.
Moreover, the Reddit community also suggests the attack may have gotten its roots from a popular MMO-RPG game Runescape where phishing like this was a norm. Interestingly there have also been some cryptic messages inscribed in the Transactions of the attack.
The mnemonic address among a myriad of Transactions to the attack spelled out:
“ Just read all transaction output as text. You take risk when use bitcoin for your twitter game, bitcoin is traceable why not Monero”
Right now, scammers have successfully swindled 13 BTC or $120,000. Contrarily, it is still uncertain if whether the message was targeting the responsible party, or for those who were swindled by the Bitcoin giveaway.
In response to the attack and display of incompetency of the social networking platform and security, Twitter resorted towards disabling users’ ability to tweet or modify their accounts affecting key communications mechanisms for a myriad of businesses, journalists, politicians, and influencers.
The decentralized nature of the cryptocurrency may be more detrimental than beneficial in building the perception of the revolution of this technology. The fact that the unknown and untraceable hackers remain as such after effectively using their widespread access to verified twitter accounts to swindle cryptocurrency.
Coherently, no organization is immune to such attacks. The problem, however, does not lie in the currency rather in malice and incompetency of platforms.
What to learn from this attack
The silver lining from this attack seems to be that the price of bitcoin hasn’t budged from its near 10,000$ price point. Whats important to note in the history of crypto attacks is that there is no fool proof mechanism to stop users of falling into social engineering attacks. As the centralized framework behind these attacks is to target human trust and emotions and pushing them into making a seemingly benign step. The latest crypto hack is proof that no matter who is soliciting your attention to send them BTC its always best to take a step back and think whether its another scam, benefiting from the naivety of bitcoin users. This 2020 Mega Crypto hack is one of the biggest hack ever. Stay safe, use secure wallets and DO NOT send your BTC to anyone.