Early yesterday morning, target�s twitter account was hacked with over 2 million followers and used for Bitcoin scam that has been trending over the past few months.
The scammers started by creating fake accounts imitating Elon Musk, an act that is against Twitter�s Terms of Service. The accounts would share fraudulent links under Musk�s tweets that asked users to send a little amount of bitcoin in order to receive a larger amount. It�s a complicated method that has been a profitable endeavor, making the hackers over $37,000 in cryptocurrency within a few hours, according to TechCrunch
According to a statement from Target to The Verge
, �The hacking process on the target�s twitter account last for half an hour and one fake post was tweeted during that time referring to a bitcoin scam.� �We are in close contact with Twitter, have deleted the tweet and have locked the account while we investigate further.�
Twitter revived up its efforts
in July to stop these scams by automatically locking any unverified accounts that changed their display names to �Elon Musk.� This caused the scammers to turn their goal to hacking in other to avoid their accounts locked. They were able to impersonate Elon Musk by hacking verified accounts with no fear of being locked out, and the scam is even more trusted with the little blue checkmark next to the familiar name.
According to Target, the account was briefly hacked, and in that time, scammers were able to come up with a tweet and the link that then approved as an advert by Twitter. With the help of the screenshot to prove that the tweet was promoted, it shows that the scammer was able to make it past the Twitter team that managed ads. However, Twitter has not responded to a request for comment.
Although, Target is the only latest example of this scam, or maybe the one with the largest followers. Other influential users like Rep Frank Pallone (D-NJ), also had their accounts hacked for use in this scam. Pallone�s campaign account was altered just a day before the 2018 midterm elections. His account did not sponsor any ads, but others like Capgemini Australia, Pathe Films, and Pantheon Books had ads for this scam approved as well
Frank Pallone is the ranking member of the house energy and commerce committee, the jurisdiction of which includes oversight of telecommunications and the internet https://t.co/WgIw5lSLn2
� rat king (@MikeIsaac) November 5, 2018
This scam could be simply dealt with by requiring all verified users to secure their accounts with the two-factor authentication, but Twitter is yet to ask any users to do so as of right now. It�s likely that these hacks will continue if Twitter did not take any action, and many more people will be scammed into handing over their cryptocurrency to this scammer.