Crypto hackers use Elon Musk's name to fleece Twitter users

08 November, 2018, 13:40 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Clothes retailer Matalan appeared to have had its Twitter account targeted today by scammers

This very popular scam is unfortunately happening once more.

Twitter has attempted to combat these scams by blocking accounts without mobile verification from adding "Elon Musk" into their display name. This time, it is not his Twitter account that was compromised, but instead, hackers used verified accounts of other leading companies like UK fashion retailer Matalan, the U.S. book publisher Pantheon Books, and a filmmaking studio Pathe UK. The more you give, the more you will allegedly earn.

Also, in September, Musk asked the creator of Dogecoin (DOGE), Jackson Palmer to help him get rid of annoying crypto scammers on Twitter.

Elon Musk's fake account promises to distribute 10,000 BTC (64.1 million USD) for the users but they have to deposit the money first to "prove that they are serious".

One of the most prominent victims was perhaps the Democratic state representative for New Jersey's sixth district, Frank Pallone Jr.

Daily Beast reporter Lachlan Markey received confirmation from the politician's campaign that the account had been hacked.

While the scammers first promoted their tweets, the promoted tweets were erased, but some of the accounts remain active.

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"As I'm sure you can probably guess, anyone who pays up never sees their money again and at the time of writing, the wallet involved in at least one of these operations holds around £125,000 worth of Bitcoin".

Musk's regular twitter use has also met its fair share of criticism, following incidents such as the Tesla founder accusing someone of being a pedophile and also commenting that a funding deal to take Tesla private had been made when the deal had not yet been finalized. The analysis finds that a network of 15,000 accounts stole legitimate accounts, shared fake links, and linked those through other automated accounts to make them seem credible.

The Next Web's Hard Fork has also found another scam basically at the same time.

"There's no easy way to force verified users to keep security settings such as two factor enabled, and all it takes is one successful phish to set a scam in motion", he said.

According to Business Insider, while Twitter has previously attempted to stop impersonation scams, the hackers have managed to promote their tweets and capitalize on the cryptocurrency frenzy.

Similarly, the official account of English discount clothing and homeware chain Matalan was hacked to display the same fraudulent message, attracting over 700 retweets and over 3,000 likes.

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