Google’s G Suite Twitter Hacked to Promote Bitcoin Giveaway Scam
This week, a new wave of verified Twitter accounts were hacked to promote a bitcoin “giveaway” scam, with Google’s G Suite Twitter account being among the victims.
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Hackers Continue Targeting Verified Accounts
Taking advantage of G Suite’s +800,000 Twitter followers, scammers this week compromised the account and tweeted from it a scam offer for a fake 10,000 bitcoin “giveaway” campaign.
The con, which has proven to be a repeated problem for Twitter since 2017, hinges on malicious agents urging Twitterati to send cryptocurrency to addresses under the agents’ control. The fraudsters falsely and rather nonsensically promise to return exponential amounts of crypto to naive senders.
In the current attack wave, G Suite, which is an enterprise suite of Google apps for businesses, saw its verified Twitter account compromised and thereafter specifically leveraged to send out a promoted tweet on the bitcoin scam.
G Suite was soon able to recover their account and delete the fraudulent content. Fortunately, the bitcoin address that was promoted in the campaign hadn’t received any funds at press time.
“This morning an unauthorized promoted tweet was shared from the G Suite account,” a Google spokesperson commented to the press in the aftermath of the episode.
“We removed the tweet and are investigating with Twitter now.”
Blue-Check Accounts, Watch Your Back
While Twitter boss Jack Dorsey and his team have made efforts to stamp out the cryptocurrency scam epidemic on their platform, cryptocurrency scammers have seemingly remained a step ahead.
Indeed, the crypto fraudsters are now targeting high-profile, verified Twitter accounts in droves. Beyond G Suite, other recently compromised accounts include those belonging to department store retailer Target, the University of Toledo Athletic Department, the Indian consulate in Germany, and more.
Acknowledging their own fresh breach, Target tweeted:
Early this morning, our Twitter account was inappropriately accessed. The access lasted for approx. half an hour & one fake tweet was posted during that time about a bitcoin scam. We have regained control of the account, are in close contact with Twitter & are investigating now.
— Target (@Target) November 13, 2018
At press time, none of the organizations involved have identified the vectors of the breaches.
Earlier this month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk relatedly saw a wave of impostor accounts pop up in attempts to falsely invoke Musk’s popularity for their own bitcoin giveaway solicitations. In that episode, the agents responsible were able to make off with almost $200,000 USD in cryptocurrency.
“This unfortunate occurrence of bitcoin scams being advertised through verified Twitter accounts shows the increasing need to establish well-considered safeguards around blockchain and for investors to be informed about the best avenues of entry into the crypto market,” Frank Wagner, co-founder and CEO of blockchain asset pool INVAO, noted to Bitsonline.
How could have hackers broke into dozens of high profile Twitter accounts simultaneously? What should be done about the bitcoin giveaway scam epidemic? Let us know your views in the comments section.
Images via Blockchain.info, MyBroadband, Pixabay