Hackers compromise Vitalik Buretin’s X account stealing $800k+ worth of crypto.
Hackers managed to hijack Vitalik Buretin’s X (formerly known as Twitter) account and tweeted a link that directed his nearly five million followers to a malicious link.
The founder of Ethereum is one of the most followed people in the crypto world, but even X’s tight security could not stop the hackers who managed to run away with almost $1 million worth of digital funds.
The now-deleted tweet stated that Vitalik invites everyone to celebrate Proto-Danksharding’s coming to Ethereum. This feature supposedly aims to significantly reduce the cost of transactions in the ETH ecosystem. Instead of getting access to a free commemorative NFT called “Proto” Vitalik’s hacked account forwarded the victims to a malicious site, inviting the victims to connect their wallets to claim the “free” NFT. This was obviously a scam, as crypto funds worth hundreds of thousands of dollars were drained.
One of the first people to notice the abnormality in Vitalik’s Twitter account was his father, who tweeted that people should disregard the post as Vitalik was working on restoring access to his hacked account. Many others followed after realizing that the link was malicious and ingenuine.
The hackers likely managed to access Buretin’s Twitter account by SIM swap or using an inside person at X. The investigation is ongoing. Luckily, the social media account was restored only a few hours after publishing the fraudulent tweet. Many are now asking Vitalik to reimburse the victims. Vitalik Buretin has not confirmed whether he plans to find a way somehow to take care of the victims of the scam. X has not published a comment either. The price of ETH briefly dipped after the cyber incident.
Being a public figure does not mean not suffering cyberattacks
Even the most knowledgeable tech people in the world are in danger of hacking. Vitalik Buretin did not register any monetary losses from this cyber-attack, but his reputation certainly took a hit. The fact that he is one of the most influential figures in the crypto industry does not insure him from cyber-attacks. On the contrary, it makes him a more attractive target to eager cyber criminals.
Vitalik Buretin is not the only high-profile person temporarily losing control of a social media account. Hackers often target celebrities to push scams. Phishing messages can come from everywhere and on different platforms. Proper antivirus software installed on all connected devices prevents users from ending up on malicious websites, even if the links come from public figures.