Justin Sun, the BitTorrent CEO and TRON founder, has offered $1 million of his own money to support tracking the Twitter hackers down and bringing them to justice.
Crypto Twitter – and indeed all of Twitter – is still reeling from a major hack of the microblogging platform that saw celeb accounts used to promote a scam bitcoin giveaway. Almost 13 BTC was amassed by the hackers by sending out messages promising to double the BTC of anyone who sent coins to their wallet. Over $120,000 was stolen before Twitter managed to shut down the attack, but not before it was forced to stop verified accounts from tweeting.
As news of the devastating attack broke on July 15, Justin Sun, using the BitTorrent account to which staff still had access, declared his intention to post a bounty for information identifying the attackers. The BitTorrent CEO and TRON founder has offered $1 million of his own money to support tracking them down and bringing them to justice. Since Sun’s offer was extended to the crypto community, Twitter has revealed details of how the hack happened. But the perpetrators are still at large.
Bitcoin Giveaway Scam Assumes Deadly New Form
Twitter scams entreating users to send cryptocurrency to an address with the false promise of receiving more in return are not new. In fact, they’ve dogged the industry since 2017 when ICO mania was at its peak. The difference with the latest attack was that the messages were posted by the celeb accounts directly, rather than by scammers using lookalike accounts. As a result, they were able to steal a substantial amount of money by sending tweets purporting to be from the likes of Barack Obama, Jeff Bezos, and Justin Sun.
“I am giving back to my fans. All Bitcoin sent to my address below will be sent back doubled,” read one message. We are “giving back 5000 BTC ($45,889,950) to the community” promised another that appeared on accounts ranging from Warren Buffett to Bill Gates. It’s been reported that the hack began with the account of crypto trader AngeloBTC before spreading through the crypto sphere, taking over the accounts of Binance, KuCoin, Coinbase, CoinDesk, and Gemini.
Sun Puts His Money Where His Mouth Is
Justin Sun has previously offered his own money for a range of causes, including combatting the spread of fake news and fighting Covid-19. In pledging $1 million to identify the Twitter hackers, the TRON founder is intent on sending a message that crypto is opposed to scams, which are not representative of the community or of Bitcoin. Conveying this message to outsiders with little understanding of cryptocurrency will be no easy task. In the wake of the hack, several influencer accounts tweeted the suggestion that cryptocurrencies should be made illegal – an assertion that was quickly shot down.
The majority of the celebs targeted in the scam appear to recognize that Bitcoin wasn’t at fault for the incident: Twitter was. Futures trading of the company’s shares saw 7% wiped off in the hours following the attack. At one stage, it was feared that the hackers may have had access to the DMs of the compromised accounts, which would have been particularly damaging, both for the individuals affected and to Twitter itself. That doesn’t appear to have been the case. Nevertheless, the incident has been highly embarrassing for Twitter.
“Tough day for us at Twitter. We all feel terrible this happened,” tweeted CEO Jack Dorsey. “We’re diagnosing and will share everything we can when we have a more complete understanding of exactly what happened.”
Meanwhile, the hunt for the elusive hackers, who now have a $1 million bounty on their heads, goes on.
Having obtained a diploma in Intercultural Communication, Julia continued her studies taking a Master’s degree in Economics and Management. Becoming captured by innovative technologies, Julia turned passionate about exploring emerging techs believing in their ability to transform all spheres of our life.