Twitter has been going wild with the recent discovery of hackers who have hijacked the account of prominent celebrities and world leading business men. Among the affected are Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Joe Biden, Warren Buffett, Kanye West, Michael Bloomberg, Apple, Uber, Jeff Bezos, Barack Obama.
These guys are one of the top leading technology gurus and if their accounts can be hijacked, who is safe on the street of social media? This is beginning to raise fears about social media and the vulnerability they present especially twitter which is the medium for this latest greatest online scam.
An estimate of $8 million in bitcoin has been said to be lost to this social media fraud and there is still the possibility of more yet to be discovered. How did they pull this off?
The Latest and Greatest 30 minutes Social Media Fraud
The most surprising dynamics to this fraud is the duration. The whole operation was intended to go on for just 30 minutes. This may be some precautionary measures as the brains behind this understands that such a fraud cannot go on for a long while before it gets exposed. The idea was to gather as much money into a bitcoin wallet and move it out under thirty minutes before it gets leaked. This appears as a really thought out process, you can’t perform this kind of heist without due planning.
The heist was premised on the trust people had for verified accounts. These verified accounts of prominent twitter celebrities were hacked with messages asking people to transfer bitcoin into the wallet provided on their pages with the intention of doubling the amount to the sender. The posts read that the intention was for the twitter account owners to give back to the society.
A lot of people fell prey to this scam and transferred huge amount of cryptocurrency to the accounts thinking they will get back double. Some may call this greed on their part but one shouldn’t blame them for trying to benefit from some charity act they thought was going down in history.
The most unfortunate thing about this heist is the means with which it was conducted. Bitcoin wallets are known to be almost untraceable and highly secure. Would be very hard to get these hackers by the wallet address or even reverse these transactions and it may seem like the money lost is lost forever.
It is important to note that Twitter has been compromised because these accounts were verified by Twitter themselves and one of the main reason verification was a culture was to differentiate original accounts from fake or parody. If verified accounts are then hacked in numbers, this doesn’t look good for twitter. A number of people might be looking at law suit.
This kind of hack is definitely high class and might require level of expertise or maybe leak of information. There are speculations that there may be some internal leak that has led to the success of this great social media heist.
As it stands, one of the affected; Justin Sun, founder and CEO of TRON, has offered a million naira bounty on the twitter accounts. This means that whoever gives information that may lead to the apprehension of these hackers or whoever gives them away gets away with a whooping sum of one million dollars.
Will this new development lead to finding this hackers? Is it also safe enough to be a whistle blower against such criminals? I guess time will answer these questions as we see events unfold.
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