It’s not often the tech, crypto, political, and celebrity worlds converge, but that’s exactly what happened on July 15 after a bitcoin giveaway scam replicated across dozens of major Twitter accounts. From billionaires to entrepreneurs, and from crypto traders to exchanges, high-profile accounts of all kinds were targeted in an audacious hack that’s left Twitter reeling.
Names such as Binance, Coinbase, Kanye West, Elon Musk, Joe Biden, Jeff Bezos, and Warren Buffet all had their accounts compromised and used to share a “giveaway” that promised to double the BTC of anyone who sent bitcoin to a particular address.
As CryptoPoatato reported, TRON founder Justin Sun’s account was also compromised in the attack. Now, Sun has vowed to weed out the culprits by putting up a $1 million bounty for information leading to their identification.
In a message tweeted by BitTorrent, whose account was unaffected by the hack, Sun promised to “personally pay those who successfully track down and provide evidence for bringing to justice, the hackers/people behind this hack affecting our community.”
TRON Founder & CEO of @BitTorrent, Justin Sun is putting out a Bounty for the hackers in the amount of $1 million.
He will personally pay those who successfully track down, and provide evidence for bringing to justice, the hackers/people behind this hack affecting our community.
— BitTorrent Inc. (@BitTorrent) July 15, 2020
Post-Mortem of the Twitter Hack Begins
Early signs point to the Twitter hack being the work of an insider – potentially a rogue employee with access to a dashboard used to control the accounts of influential users. Access to these accounts is tightly controlled by Twitter.
Whatever the source of the attack, it’s generated headlines around the world, while painting Bitcoin in a bad light. Although the hack is not directly connected with the Bitcoin protocol, the attackers requested payment in BTC.
As a result, many unsuspecting bitcoin-holders were tricked into parting with their funds in the expectation of receiving double in return.
Celebs Caught in the Crosshairs
Many of the celebrity accounts caught up in the wide-scale hack were suspended in the aftermath as Twitter grappled to get on top of the problem. Justin Sun and the TRON Foundation also saw their accounts temporarily suspended following the attack, which also targeted Gemini, KuCoin, Bitfinex, Ripple, and Cash App.
Sun’s decision to issue a million-dollar bounty to identify the hackers appears to have been born out of a desire to redeem the industry’s reputation. The TRON founder famously lunched with Warren Buffet, whose Twitter account was among those compromised, and Sun seems anxious to send a message that the crypto community will not tolerate scammers.
There is evidence that the attack began with the account of crypto trader AngeloBTC before spreading to other high follower accounts such as Binance. In a statement, Justin Sun said:
“We are working closely with Twitter to resolve this issue immediately and return our accounts to normal. We are always vigilant in handling our accounts; operating safely and responsibly – taking the security of our accounts to the highest standards possible.”
He added: “This only further illuminates the urgent need for our society to adopt decentralized, trustless software and services.”