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co-founder’s Twitter hacked in a SIM swap attack.
- Followers tricked into a fake NFT giveaway, resulting in a $691,000 loss.
- Buterin suggests Ethereum addresses as a secure alternative for account recovery.
Unraveling the details of the $691,000 Twitter hack involving Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin: A deep dive into SIM swapping and its repercussions in the crypto world.
The Sinister SIM Swap Attack on Buterin’s Twitter
In a revealing statement on Farcaster, Ethereum’s co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, divulged how his Twitter account was compromised last week. The perpetrator executed a SIM swap attack, socially engineering T-Mobile, to seize Buterin’s phone number. This tactic allowed them to reset his Twitter password, gaining them access to nearly 5 million followers. As Buterin lamented, the vulnerability lay in the platform, now dubbed “X” after Elon Musk’s acquisition, that allows password resetting with just a phone number.
The Exploitation of the Loophole: The $691,000 NFT Deception
Using their unauthorized access, the hackers advertised a counterfeit NFT giveaway on September 9th. A deceitful link accompanying the post led unsuspecting users into a trap where they were collectively stripped of over $691,000. While the crypto community on Twitter was swift to highlight the spurious link, official confirmation of Buterin’s account being compromised first emerged from his father, Dmitriy “Dima” Buterin.
Aftermath and Repercussions: Buterin’s Take on Enhanced Security
Following the ordeal, Buterin, on Farcaster, praised the platform’s improved security measures. He advocated for the adoption of Ethereum addresses as a more secure alternative for account recoveries. The sentiment stems from his experience, stating, “Glad to be a farcaster, where my account recovery can be controlled by a good wholesome Ethereum address.” Post the malicious act, hackers mockingly sent Buterin an NFT from the loot. In a gesture of goodwill, the original NFT creators reimbursed the stolen NFT with an authentic version.
A Troubling Pattern: Previous Hacks Targeting the Buterin Family
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This incident wasn’t an isolated one for the Buterin family. Earlier in August, Natalia Ameline, Vitalik’s mother and the prominent face behind Metis (a layer-2 scaling solution for Ethereum), was ensnared in a Twitter ruse. The project’s Twitter was hijacked, used to broadcast deceptive links, leading to unauthorized access and subsequent compromise of some followers’ crypto wallets.
The digital realm, particularly the crypto community, is not devoid of threats. The recent attack on one of Ethereum’s stalwarts underscores the importance of robust security measures. While technology propels us forward, incidents like these serve as poignant reminders to tread cautiously, re-evaluate digital security, and advocate for stronger, more foolproof systems.