In a recent incident, a hacker targeted the Ethereum co-founder’s ETH account, resulting in the theft of nearly $700,000 from unsuspecting users. The hacker employed a malicious link shared through the compromised account to carry out the scheme.
The hacker posted a deceptive link on the profile, tricking users into connecting their digital wallets and creating exclusive NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens).
Ethereum Co-Founder Falls Victim to Hacking
Vitalik Buterin, a prominent figure in the cryptocurrency world, became an unexpected target of a hacker. The hacker managed to hijack Buterin’s X account, making off with $690,000 from unsuspecting users by posting a malicious link on his feed. The breach came to light on a Sunday when a post created by the hacker appeared on Buterin’s feed. The post announced the release of a new series of commemorative NFTs from software provider Consensys.
The link, visible to Buterin’s 4.9 million followers on X, encouraged users to click on it, connect their wallets, and mint the NFTs. However, in reality, this allowed the hacker to siphon funds from the connected wallets. Prominent figures in the cryptocurrency community quickly noticed the fraudulent link and rushed to warn users, advising them to disregard the post. The first acknowledgment of the hack came from Buterin’s father, who confirmed the hack and stated that efforts were underway to regain control of the account.
Post Removed, but Damage Done
Although the malicious post has been removed, significant damage has been inflicted. Several users who fell for the ruse and clicked on the link reported losing access to their wallet funds. In just an hour, the hacker managed to seize approximately $147,000. However, this amount quickly escalated to around $691,000, as reported by blockchain investigator ZachXBT.
As of now, Buterin has not made any public comments about the hacking incident, with his most recent post being a retweet from September 6th. ZachXBT reported that the hacker sent Buterin one of the stolen NFTs. The exact number of users affected by the hack remains unknown, but questions have arisen regarding the security measures Buterin had in place to protect his account, and some have called for him to take responsibility for the incident.
Growing Concern About Social Media Hacks
This recent incident joins a growing list of social media hacks that have resulted in the loss of millions of cryptocurrency tokens. The extent of these losses has prompted discussions about whether developers should compensate victims for their losses. These hacks have also raised concerns about the security of platforms like Twitter, with Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao noting that social media platforms are not as well-designed for security compared to traditional financial accounts and platforms.
Two-factor authentication is a widely recommended defense against hackers, requiring users to provide two pieces of information to verify their identity before accessing an account. While Twitter does support two-factor authentication, it is available only to paid users.
The year 2023 has seen a surge in cryptocurrency hacks, with Web3 platforms experiencing losses exceeding $1 billion due to hacks and rug pulls, according to a report by Immunefi. The report identified 211 separate incidents, with losses in August alone surpassing $23 million.