Crypto scammers briefly hacked the official Twitter, YouTube and Facebook accounts of the British army to promote certain non-fungible token (NFT) collections and phishing scams.
The press office of the Ministry of Defence confirmd Monday that it was aware of the breach and that an investigation was underway: "The Army takes information security extremely seriously and is resolving the issue. Until their investigation is complete it would be inappropriate to comment further."
The official social media accounts were subsequently restored, while scam and phishing links were deleted.
It remains unclear who was behind the breach, how many victims were affected and the quantum of funds lost to phishing schemes.
According to screenshots posted by Twitter users, hackers promoted at least two derivates of fraudulent NFT collections of “The Possessed” and “BAPESCLAN.”
Hackers also pinned a fake NFT mint of “The Possessed” NFT collection, with phishing links to drain users of their funds if users connected their crypto wallets to it.
One of the collection’s creators, Tom Watson, warned users about the fake information and asked people to report the account.
On Youtube, the hackers rebranded the British Army’s page to investment firm “Ark Invest” and live-streamed supposed interviews with Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey.
The simultaneous live streams were being watched by thousands of people. The viewers were presented with a QR code to send their funds with the assurance of receiving double the amount.
Other crypto giveaway scams were also being promoted through the compromised YouTube channel.
According to the report, rug pulls — when developers abandon a project and leave with investors’ funds — became the “go-to scam” of the decentralized finance ecosystem.
In 2021, rug pulls accounted for over $2.8 billion stolen, or 37% of all cryptocurrency scam revenue. This is a significant increase compared to 1% in 2020.
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