September 12, 2023

Ethereum Co-founder’s X Account Hacked, $500 Stolen in 20 Mins

Vitalik Buterin

Vitalik Buterin

On Saturday, hackers gained access to Vitalik Buterin’s Twitter account, who is the co-founder and public face of Ethereum. They posted a crypto phishing scam to his almost 5 million followers.

The tweet contained a link advertising a free NFT drop. The tweet stated that to celebrate Proto-Danksharding coming to Ethereum, [Consensys] is giving away a commemorative NFT collection. The collection is free for the next 24 hours, and it honors the work of the developers who made this possible.

The tweet offered followers a free NFT if they clicked the link. Despite the confusing terminology used in the tweet, the message was clear: the link was a scam.

The tweet was posted on Twitter for a brief 20 minutes, as reported by the Web 3 Is Going Just Great website. It was removed after Dmitry, Vitalik Buterin’s father tweeted that it was a phishing scam and his son was working to regain control of his account. Dmitry tweeted, “Disregard this post; apparently Vitalik has been hacked. He is working on restoring access,” on Saturday.

Despite Dmitry’s tweet, the hackers had already stolen crypto tokens, primarily NFTs, worth an estimated $691,000 at the time, according to blockchain investigator ZachXBT. They proceeded to sell the NFTs, including a highly valued Cryptopunk that sold for over $200,000. On Monday, the hackers’ crypto wallet showed they had received 300 ETH (currently worth $468,000) over the weekend.

The cryptocurrency industry is filled with various scams, and Twitter has been a common platform for such fraudulent activities. Given the vast number of users on the social network and the blockchain’s irreversible and instantaneous transaction nature, a single click can result in a significant loss.

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