The official, verified Twitter account of a leading U.S. retailer has been compromised by hackers, who are leveraging the account to steal cryptocurrencies from investors in an apparent giveaway scam.
Target Hit: Hackers Infiltrate Verified Retailer Twitter Account
Determined cybercriminals have, reportedly, gained access to the verified Twitter account of U.S. retail giant Target, and used the 1.92 million follower account to launch a cryptocurrency giveaway scam – a type of scam frequently plaguing the popular social media platform for the better part of a year.
Hackers pose as businesses, celebrities, and influential cryptocurrency industry figure heads – even the President of the United States – and offer to send Twitter users a specified amount of cryptocurrency as part of a giveaway.
However, users are first required to send a smaller portion of the same cryptocurrency, in order to be eligible for the larger sum. Only once the initial amount is sent the hackers never follow up with their end of the bargain, and pocket any assets sent as part of the scam.
In this particular instance, the Target account was offering a total of 5,000 Bitcoin to “all community.”
The tweet included an image with a Bitcoin address in it, which according to blockchain transactions show that the hackers were able to make off with about $38,000 of investors hard-earned cryptocurrencies. Target deleted the original tweets, but have since issued a statement.
“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 said in a tweet.
What’s worse, is the tweet was approved to run as a paid promotional tweet by Twitter themselves, who review advertisements before approving them to run on the platform.
Twitter Defenseless as Crypto Giveaway Scams Increase in Severity
This widespread issue only appears to be growing from here, and hackers are not only picking up the frequency of hacking accounts and launching cryptocurrency giveaway scams, they are also able to obtain increasingly powerful, verified accounts.
Last week, hackers were able to steal $150,000 in cryptocurrencies after gaining access to the verified accounts of British fashion and home goods retailer Matalan and the U.K. arm of French film production company Pathé. The two accounts had account details change to give off the impression that Elon Musk was tweeting about a cryptocurrency giveaway.
Related Reading: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey: Bitcoin Will Become Global Currency
Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, who believes one day Bitcoin will become the world’s global internet currency – claimed he and his firm were “on it,” in reference to the cryptocurrency giveaway scams plaguing his platform, as far back as March of this year, yet the occurrence of these scams have only increased dramatically since.
With Twitter not only allowing these scams to continue to steal from its users, and is even unable to prevent paid promotional ads featuring the giveaway scams from running on their platform, Twitter appears entirely defenseless against the hackers.
Featured image from Shutterstock.