It’s been about a week since the incident occurred, and yet news outlets still can’t seem to get enough of the Twitter bitcoin hack that took place last Wednesday.
The Twitter BTC Hack Just Gets Bigger and Bigger
The incident is one of the most profound and notorious in bitcoin’s short, yet significant history. Several high-profile Twitter accounts belonging to politicians, celebrities and musicians such as Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Kanye West and Elon Musk were hijacked by cyber thieves who sought to post phony messages drawing in unsuspecting victims and getting them to forward their BTC to anonymous crypto addresses.
More details have come out regarding the incident, some of which barely add up at press time. Thus far, it looks like as many as 130 separate accounts were compromised, though only about 45 were utilized to garner illicit or stolen bitcoin from users.
In addition, it has been widely reported all week that the hackers only managed to obtain a little over $120,000 in bitcoin from unsuspecting persons, though now, top U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase says that it has stopped close to $300,000 in BTC from going to accounts owned or controlled by the hackers. Coinbase was able to take quick action and freeze the flagged accounts before heftier amounts of BTC were moved.
Philip Martin – chief information security officer for Coinbase – explained in an interview:
It was a vanishingly small group of Coinbase users that tried to send bitcoin to the scam addresses.
Apparently, the hackers managed to gain control of addresses with Coinbase, Binance and Gemini in New York. These addresses were potentially the designated spots for all the stolen bitcoin, and Coinbase managed to prevent several of its customers from sending their money to flagged accounts. Overall, only $3,000 of the stolen BTC came from Coinbase customers.
This leaves us pondering the question, “Where did the rest of the money come from?” Binance? Gemini? Both? What cryptocurrency exchanges were victimized during the incident, and why were the hackers allegedly so confident as to use public exchange-based addresses to garner the funds?
Taking Preventative Measures
In the meantime, several trading platforms are taking stronger measures to ensure that incidents like these do not become more prominent or common. Jesse Powell – the chief executive of Kraken in San Francisco, CA – revealed in a statement:
This hack shows that security is about layers of protection. Somebody needs to be watching the admins and setting up alerts to watch for these vulnerabilities. The Twitter hack was a more widespread event, but scams of this nature are not new. Kraken proactively monitors for this type of activity and blocks certain addresses that we come across. Like any other scam, we proactively blocked the addresses from the Twitter hack earlier this week.