Hackers have succeeded again! Target’s Twitter account was recently compromised earlier this week for us in a bitcoin scam that has been ramping up over the course of the last few months. This first began with scammers starting to make fake accounts that were impersonating billionaire Elon Musk, which is very much against Twitter’s Terms of Service.
The fake accounts would then post scam-like links under Musk’s tweet that asked users to send over small amounts of bitcoin in order to receive an even larger amount. Although the tactic alone can be quite confusing, TechCrunch revealed that it is, in fact, a profitable endeavor, which makes hackers nearly $37,000 in cryptocurrency in just a few hours! It’s safe to say that this form of scam makes a lot more than your typical minimum wage job, but nevertheless, should be avoided at all costs.
And now @Target.— Graham Cluley (@gcluley) November 13, 2018
This isn't just Target's problem. This is @Twitter's problem. They clearly haven't got a handle on these cryptocurrency scams.
As previously discussed here: https://t.co/0l44PVFPI9 pic.twitter.com/81i6GIv3qs
As for Target’s Twitter account, the hack lasted for nearly half an hour and one fake tweet was posted during the course of the bitcoin scam. Target has since released a statement regarding the events, claiming that they are “in close contact with Twitter, have deleted the tweet and have locked the account while we investigate further,” they said. Although Twitter updated their efforts to stop these types of scams from affecting Twitter users, and changing their display names to “Elon Musk,” it appears that they did not do a very good job.
Hackers appear to have bypassed the efforts put into place by Twitter and is more believable considering the accounts contain that verified blue checkmark next to that very famous name. Target is one of many accounts to fall victim to this terrible scam and is perhaps one of the biggest to date. Requiring verified users to secure their accounts with Twitters “two-factor authentication” can easily combat the scam itself, however, this is by no means an actual requirement just yet.
With that being said, the hacks are likely to continue until Twitter creates more solidified ways of stopping these scams from taking place, until then, be extra cautious on any social media platform to avoid this from happening to you.