A fake Elon Musk account promoting bitcoin scam was promoted on Twitter
08 November, 2018, 13:40 | Author: Brooke Harris
The hijacking scammers had been very smart in putting up the name and profile picture of Elon Musk as well as acquiring a "verified" blue tick. This time, it is not his Twitter account that was compromised, but instead, hackers used verified accounts of other leading companies like UK fashion retailerMatalan, the United States book publisher Pantheon Books, and a filmmaking studio Pathe UK.
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is one of the most influential entrepreneurs in the world with a net worth of $22.3 billion as of 2018.
After that bitcointweet, Musk's account was even temporarily banned as Twitter suspected his handle had been hacked, though it hadn't been.
To add to the intensity of the scam, other verified accounts, including the likes of blogger Sarah Scoop and boxer Rayton Okwiri, that had been compromised were used to comment on those scam tweets, writing that they had indeed received bitcoin from Elon Musk. When asked for comment on the issue, Twitter told the BBC that it "doesn't comment on individual accounts for privacy and security reasons".
In addition to this, another tweet was posted which stated that Elon Musk is no more associated with the company and to mark the occasion he has planned a cryptocurrency giveaway, which of course is fake.
This isn't the first time a scam of this nature has appeared on twitter.
But they didn't stop there - then (using a stolen credit card we can safely assume) they purchased advertising from Twitter and gave the post some extra promotion - causing tens of thousands of extra people to see it.
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In both cases, the scams have stayed up for enough time for attackers to con Twitter users into handing over bitcoin - but Twitter says it is responding to these incidents as efficiently as possible.
One of the scam tweets.
What is Twitter doing about it?
"Twitter has also substantially improved how we tackle cryptocurrency scams on the platform".
"In recent weeks, user impressions have fallen by a multiple of 10 as we continue to invest in more proactive tools to detect spammy and malicious activity". And these bots are learning from past mistakes.
Now the scam has become more nuanced as it uses Twitter's own verification to make it more convincing.
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