Hackers Impersonate Elon Musk Using Verified Twitter Accounts to Spread Bitcoin Scam

Cornelia Mascio
Novembre 8, 2018

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.

In the latest attempt at scamming users out of their cryptocurrency, Pathé, the world's second oldest film company, and Europe's second largest studio, had its official Twitter account hacked in an attempt to spread a fake Bitcoin giveaway, Hard Fork reports.

However, what makes the spectacle truly hilarious is that the scammer is using pictures and resemblance of Tesla's CEO Elon Musk to sell the schemes.

Numerous account holders have since taken back control of their twitter accounts and have deleted the scam tweets.

Using hacked account, crooks then compose a message using Tesla CEO's name that promotes bitcoin giveaway and is shown on thousands of users timelines thanks to Twitter's ad service. Several users tried to alert the community by posting tweets.

Recently, however, these scams have ventured outside of Musk's mentions and into timelines. In fact, scams became so frequent on Twitter that Musk himself was briefly banned from the social media network.

Twitter actually locked Musk's account for some time, believing it had actually been compromised.

A lot of people have also criticized Twitter for even allowing people to do this.

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.

"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. Names of celebrities including the likes of Warren Buffet, President Donald Trump, Bill Gates and John McAfee have been used to crypto-scams.

Twitter spokeswoman Liz Kelley told Quartz in an email, "In recent weeks, 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.

One of the accounts was the Swansea City AFC Ladies account who commented saying that they had received back coins under different posts.

Celebrities who have had their names used in these scams have complained about it, urging Twitter to take more serious steps to tackle the problem.

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