Tuesday, 13 November, 2018

Hackers use fake Elon Musk account to rob Twitter users

Elon Musk Twitter Major European film group hacked to promote Bitcoin scam on Twitter
Priscilla Morrison | 07 November, 2018, 14:19

The hackers used Mr Musk's name and likeness to ask for Bitcoin - a cryptocurrency - by promoting an ad on Twitter. It has also updated its avatar and display name to remove mentions of Elon Musk.

Elon Musk, the mastermind behind companies such as Tesla and SpaceX, seems to be a beloved figure in the world of crypto scammers on Twitter.

To make the accounts appear legitimate, the scammers used accounts with Twitter's own verification mark. The accounts also retweet various posts by Musk, Tesla and Space X, in an effort to look more like the real Elon Musk account.

The scam itself was the usual bait of "send some Bitcoin i'll send even more back" - which from a verified account or not - is always an obvious scam. The message, situated above the QR code and Bitcoin address, was presumably recognizable to astute crypto investors/savants, as it claimed that Musk would return 10x on the victim's "investment" - obviously a too good to be true opportunity.

The bitcoin wallets associated with the scam suggest the campaign has been successful for the attackers, with nearly 400 users contributing a combined total of 28 bitcoin to the cryptocurrency wallets - now the equivalent of £137,000 ($180,000).

More news: U.S. mid-term elections: Democrats retake House, Republicans retain Senate, say networks

Clothing retailer Matalan and Pathé United Kingdom, the British arm of the French filmmaker, were both targeted by the scammers, who took control of the brands' Twitter accounts and posted scam messages advertising the giveaway.

The scam is made to seem more trustworthy as various other compromised accounts reply to the tweet claiming that it works.

"Impersonating another individual to deceive users is a clear violation of the Twitter Rules". 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 recent weeks, user impressions have fallen by a multiple of 10 in recent weeks as we continue to invest in more proactive tools to detect spammy and malicious activity. "This is a significant improvement on previous action rates", they added. The accounts were both verified, meaning Twitter users would be more likely to trust their tweets. Another indicator is that there are a few spelling mistakes within the tweet which suggests a compromised account. "You know you're important when someone takes the time to hack your account!".

Matalan's response to regaining control of the company Twitter account.

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