Crypto Hoodlums Who Breached Twitter Also Cracked Users’ DM


The crypto industry got some banter last week after hackers hit top social media platform Twitter to advertise a fake giveaway scam. Since then, new information has surfaced about the hackers and their exploits on the social media platform.

Down in the DMs

On Wednesday, Twitter announced that the hackers who infiltrated its service also managed to break into the direct messages of 36 accounts. The company didn’t give any names, although it confirmed that a politician from the Netherlands had been affected.

While Twitter remained mum about the individual’s identity, a local news source confirmed last week that the Twitter account of politician and businessman Geert Wilders had been compromised. Wilders is a prominent member of the Dutch House of Representatives and the leader of the country’s Party for Freedom — which he founded in 2006.

The politician has been especially famous for his far-right views and his anti-Islamist position. Twitter added that the accounts were random, and that it didn’t believe any other political figures were affected in the DM breach. However, the major hack affected names such as former U.S. President Barack Obama and Joe Biden — Obama’s Vice President and the likely Democrat candidate for the 2020 General Elections.

More Fallout from the Twitter Hack

The Twitter hack was a significant wake-up call to many in the crypto space. About a week ago, hackers managed to use the accounts of several notable people to promote a fake Bitcoin giveaway scam, promoting people to send BTC to a specific account in exchange for double their “investment.” 

Apart from Obama and Biden, some other people targeted included billionaires like Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Tesla chief executive Elon Musk, Amazon chief Jeff Bezos, and model and influencer Kim Kardashian. Crypto firms like Binance, Coinbase, the Gemini Exchange, and Bitfinex also got affected.

While their scheme didn’t last long, the hackers managed to get about $120,000 before everyone else was the wiser. Responding to the hack, Twitter Support confirmed in a series of tweets that the hackers had conducted a “social engineering attack” on some of the company’s security employees. By manipulating these workers, the hackers managed to gain access to its internal systems. 

The social media giant added that it would be providing more security training and preventive measures to its platform. For workers, they will be trained on spotting and avoiding social engineering tactics from hackers. The company will also provide phishing exercises and cybersecurity coaching.

Blockchain security firm CipherTrace also recently reported that the hackers had been moving the money they stole through peer-to-peer (P2P) exchanges and Bitcoin Casinos.

In its report, the company explained that it found 0.2 BTC that had been transferred to a P2P exchange via a “peel chain” — a set of wallets that illicit funds pass to, thus obfuscating their movement.

CipherTrace noted that sums of money between 0.1 BTC and 0.15 BTC were being moved to exchanges in the United States, India, Singapore, and Turkey. The security firm added that it had found up to 18 transactions to several platforms.

Remember, all trading carries risk. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Jimmy has been following the development of blockchain for several years, and he is optimistic about its potential to democratize the financial system.