“Why not Monero?” asks hacker who took over Twitter with Bitcoin scam

Hackers behind the Twitter breach early on Thursday embedded a Monero (XMR) centric message on several of their Bitcoin transactions—paying $11 in costs to do so.

“You take risks when you use Bitcoin for your Twitter game, why not Monero,” read seven different wallets (transactions accessible here).

Image showing hackers sending transactions to altered wallets. (Source: Blockchain.com)

A pro-Monero statement

Hackers altered the recipient wallet addresses to include personalized alphanumeric keys, choosing to go with the pro-Monero stance.

Monero is a private cryptocurrency famed for masking wallet and transactional information. This is unlike Bitcoin or most others—whose pseudonymous nature allows analytics firms to trace wallet activity to individual users.

Members of the Monero forum on Reddit seemed pumped with the mention. “All those Bitcoins will be washed clean with Monero,” said one user on a relevant thread.

“I think it was strategic. More people have BTC than XMR. It also isn’t easy to figure out how to use Monero, not entry-level crypto,” said another user on another thread.

Meanwhile, Monero’s Riccardo Spagni tried explaining why the hackers asked for Bitcoin instead of XMR. His tweet was a response to a relevant comment thread:

Spagni pointed out Ripple’s account was similarly breached as well, but the lack of outreach meant zero XRP was eventually sent to the hacker-provided XRP wallet address.

The Twitter breach revealed a lack of privacy for influential accounts. If misused, it could mean many drastic consequences than a simple Bitcoin scam.

On-chain analytics firm Chainalysis is tracking the Bitcoin funds, approx. $120,000 at current rates. No funds have been cashed out yet:

Industry heads speak up

As CryptoSlate reported earlier today, popular Twitter accounts were compromised to send out Bitcoin-centric scam messages like donating to “CryptoForHealth” or receiving a “generous” gift from power users.

The Twitter infiltration was more of a statement than a money grab anyway. Hackers made north of 12 Bitcoin (approx. $118,000)—a small amount considering the widespread extent of the vulnerability. Binance, Gemini, Vitalik Buterin, Coinbase, Ripple, and a host of other crypto-centric, influential accounts saw their Twitter accounts hacked.

“The small result is quite fortunate and reflects quite favorably on battle-hardened crypto users, many of whom by now are experienced in fending off social engineering attacks and other forms of hacks and scams,” said Matthew Graham, the CEO of Sino Global Capital.

The outrage was not limited to crypto celebrities. Elon Musk, Joe Biden, Kayne West, Mike Bloomberg, Kim Kardashian, and even Bill Gates were affected. The gist was similar: Donating some Bitcoin to a given address with the allure of doubling the stash.

Several prominent figures in the crypto sector have since commented on the matter. American Congressman Tom Emmer seemed to take a pro-Bitcoin stance while calling out centralized companies on the matter:

Jonathan Leong of BTSE told CryptoSlate:

“The widespread awareness and discussion of this scam was a silver lining. Had they scammers not attack so many high profile accounts, it is possible that most people would be not aware of this scam, and that there would be more victims.”

Twitter has issued an apology and said they are investigating the matter. A support thread early on Thursday said the attack stemmed from a “social engineered” issue which saw hackers side an ex-Twitter employee; one who had admin access to prominent accounts.

The post “Why not Monero?” asks hacker who took over Twitter with Bitcoin scam appeared first on CryptoSlate.


By: Shaurya Malwa
Title: “Why not Monero?” asks hacker who took over Twitter with Bitcoin scam
Sourced From: cryptoslate.com/why-not-monero-asks-hacker-who-took-over-twitter-with-bitcoin-scam/
Published Date: Thu, 16 Jul 2020 16:00:39 +0000

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