No question about it, scammers and hackers always find the most creative ways to turn a profit. The latest big profile scam saw a number of popular, verified Twitter accounts being hacked to promote an ad using Elon Musk’s face and name.
The goal? To trick Elon Musk fans into spending a small amount of Bitcoin in order to receive even more Bitcoin, as part of the “biggest crypto-giveaway in the world.”
The hijacked accounts were used to send out promoted Twitter posts and included a malicious link disguised to look like a SpaceX-owned website, a hacking tactic known as “phishing.”
Screenshot via BBC
Because the accounts hacked all wore the blue tick that makes them verified by Twitter, unsuspecting social media users could have been tricked into thinking the “crypto-giveaway” was a legitimate stunt from Elon Musk. After all, he has been known to go a bit social-media crazy in recent months.
The BBC reports that high-profile Twitter users like British retailer Matalan, film distributor Pathe UK and even US-based Pantheon Books were hijacked to spread the online scam using Elon Musk’s name, with a host of other stolen Twitter profiles adding legitimacy to the fake giveaway.
The Pathe UK Twitter account was hacked this morning by an unknown third party. A series of unauthorised tweets were sent for which we apologise. The issue has now been resolved and we have taken back control of our account.
— Pathé UK (@patheuk) November 5, 2018
Even India’s national disaster authority was hacked, with its Twitter profile used to spread the Elon Musk bitcoin scam.
Odds are, most of the accounts compromised did not have two-factor authentication enabled in order to stop hackers from gaining access to them.