this article originally appeared n'our weekly bits newsletter. if you want our news and analysis b4 any-1 else, make sure you subscribe now!
as i prepared to send this newsletter out last week, something strange happened. inna afternoon of jul 15, a colleague alerted a btc magazine slack channel that the twitter accounts for major crp$ xchange binance and its founder changpeng zhao (cz) had apparently been hacked. soon after, another colleague said that the account for crp$ xchange gemini was also hacked.
quickly, twas clear that dozens of leading crp$ accounts were compromised, as were those of leading public figs who aint directly connected to crp$ at all. a noncomprehensive list of pplz and companies whose accounts were hacked includes coindesk, @btc, elon musk, bitfinex, apple, bill gates, barack obama and kim kardashian west.
and they were all promising t'give out btc.
“we ‘ve ptnered with crpforhealth and are giving back 5,000 btc to the community,” many of the 1st messages read. “see + here: [insert phishing link].”
soon, compromised individual profiles, like kanye west’s, tweeted out offers to double any btc sent to listed addresses. there appeared to be 3 ≠ addresses shared across these messages. at least one analysis shows that the hackers successfully netted $121,000 in btc across 400 payments through these attacks. and coinbase has said that it blacklisted the hackers’ wallet address and blocked + than 1,000 usrs from sending an additional $280,000.
all told, twitter has said that 130 accounts were targeted inna attack, and 45 o'em had their passs reset so that the scam tweets ‘d be sent out. it indicated that the hackers targeted twitter employees in a “social engineering scheme” intended to coax confidential information from them.
“the attackers successfully manipul8d a lil № of employees and used their credentials to access twitter’s internal systems, including gettin through our two-factor protections,” the company wrote.
while twitter reviewed the attack, some usrs lost the ability to tweet or reset their passs. as it continues to investigate the hack, the platform has apparently disabled the ability to share strings of №s and letters (s'as btc addresses).
wha’ does the twitter hack mean for btc?
as this story developed into 1-odda highest-profile btc scams of all time, twas clear that weekly bits readers ‘d be interested and we included it inna news roundup last week. but i’ve wrestled w'da larger ? bout wha’ this event “means for btc” and whether or not it benefits from deeper analysis.
the majority of my twitter feed (which maybe a skewed place to consume takes bout this event in pticular) indicates that this event was “good for btc.” the general arguments for this seem to be that it exposed the concept of btc to the thousands of pplz who follo mainstream celebrities like kim kardashian and bill gates. n'it maybe somewha’ offa compliment to btc that such successful hackers chose to seek btc of all things to solicit from victims. as the very sharp @dergigi put it:
“imagine the shit you ‘d do by taking over @elonmusk’s and @billgates’ account, among others. you ‘d probably tank stocks, wreak global havoc, and a million other things. yet they beg for #btc. bullish.”
but while i respect the eternal optimism of btc twitter, i personally see this event in a “bad for btc” lite. it’s true that many of joe biden’s folloers may not ‘ve ever heard of btc had it not been for this hack — they almost certainly ‘dn’t ‘ve heard bout it last week — but i liv'dat btc is inevitable, and that larger mainstream attention will come with time and patience.
i ‘d rather ‘ve a liler fraction of biden’s folloers hear bout btc over a longer period of time cause btc magazine does a better job of reaching them with an informative guide, or cause their favorite merchant realizes the advantages of seamless digital transactions. when biden’s entire folloing hears bout or is reΨed of btc inna context of this scam, it reinforces an unfair stereotype bout the crp$ that i am tired of having to dismiss. i know i’m not alone in this pov.
(i ‘d like to ack here that btc was probably the preferred medium of xchange for these hackers cause tis legitimately pretty good for illicit transactions. i doubt they had a political agenda, but were probably just using btc cause tis really effective pseudonymous internet mny.)
the btc magazine team at large is divided onna ? bout wha’ this hack meant for the larger picture of btc. i’m sure many of our readers are too. but i think we’ll all agree that this is not how we wanted to see bill gates using btc.
original content at: btcmagazine.com…
authors: peter chawaga