Power and enormous opportunities. Why hackers hacked Twitter

Why hackers hacked Twitter

Accounts of Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Apple and others were compromised. Thanks to this, the attackers were able to collect about $100,000. in bitcoins. How the biggest attack on the social network will affect its reputation and attitude to cryptocurrencies
On the night of July 16, hackers carried out a major attack on the social network Twitter. A post on the free distribution of bitcoins was published from the accounts of billionaires, politicians, representatives of the crypto industry and celebrities. In two hours, the attackers managed to collect 12.86 BTC (about $120,000 at the current rate). With the scale of the hacking, which compromised the accounts of Elon Musk, Barack Obama, Jeff Bezos, Apple and others, the sum suggests that the target was not theft. We tell different versions of what happened, possible causes and consequences for both Twitter and cryptocurrencies.

"Hackers were not targeted at illegal enrichment"

The value of information, both as a commodity and leverage on competitors, has recently grown significantly, explained Valery Petrov, vice-president of market development and regulation at RAKIB. So it's no surprise that hackers are constantly attacking large information companies. Twitter was no exception.

"It is clear that the credibility of Twitter will be affected by this attack. The fact that the scammers promised free distribution of bitcoins is nothing but an attempt to compromise the accounts of the most famous people. In general, I think that this attack will not have a significant impact on the crypto industry," Petrov said.

Vitaly Kirpichev, director of development in Russia tradingView, said it was obvious that the hackers were not targeted in illegal enrichment as a result of the attack, as the victims were accounts of only famous people who would hardly ask their subscribers to transfer bitcoins to them. The expert called the purpose of the hackers a demonstration that one of the largest social networks has serious vulnerabilities.

"I hope that the company will be able to cope with this incident soon to avoid the loss of its main stars and user confidence. Otherwise, the consequences for the social network and the value of its shares can be very negative," the expert warned.

The theoretical reasons for Twitter hacking

Vitaly Mankevich, President of the Russian-Asian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, noted that Twitter has been in crisis in recent years. First, the company has not learned to monetize its popularity and has not found a buyer, as it was with Whatsapp and Instagram. Secondly, the format of the network now loses Telegram channels, Instagram and Facebook, whose audience growth is significantly ahead of Twitter. Twitter's popularity is held back by Trump's tweets, which is the brand's chief "ambassador," Mankiewicz said. Thirdly, censorship scandals are also hitting the audience' loyalty, which caused Twexit.

The expert named several theories about what might be associated with hacking of the social network. The first is political: on the one hand, blame Donald Trump, known for his antics, including on social media, especially on Twitter. On the other hand, such actions look petty for the President of the United States, so his rivals and rivals could frame Trump. But the accusations against Trump are unfounded: Since late May, the "Twexit" campaign has been running among Republicans, meaning the party's "exodus" from Twitter to a new social network, Parler, which is positioning itself as a platform where there is no censorship. The movement's leader was Laura Loomer, the Florida Republican nominee who set herself the goal of dragging the entire Trump team to a new platform. Republicans sincerely believe that for their own taxes large social networks should not establish censorship, and even more so ban.

Mankiewicz stressed that the case may not concern politics, if the real problem lies in the desire of fraudsters to earn and in the shortcomings of the social network in dealing with the security of data and accounts. However, the value of the company's shares is indeed declining. Since the beginning of the morning trading session, it has fallen by 6.6%, to $33.4.

"Probably, the price reduction will not be long-term, and the shares will return to the previous values. But we must remember that at a long interval the prospects of Twitter, as they say, are lower than the market. There are IT companies much more interesting in terms of both growth potential and real profit," the expert said.

Power and enormous opportunities. Why hackers hacked Twitter

"Real money is also a tool for scammers"

What happened to Twitter happens constantly in many networks, the schemes of actions of fraudsters are similar, said the executive director of RAKIB Alexander Brazhnikov. According to him, everything is designed to affect the audience and their human weaknesses, social engineering in action.

"Attacking Twitter will not affect the use of cryptocurrencies. There are many solutions to counter the use of cryptocurrency in the operations of fraudsters. The entire digital community is interested in closing all loopholes in this matter. In the end, the attackers put the same bitcoins into fiat, it turns out, real money is also a tool for fraudsters," Brazhnikov concluded.

He stressed that the ways to deal with intruders are becoming more effective, it is not difficult to track where the finances came. The main thing is to react in time and make legislative decisions. And teach law enforcement to deal with it.

"Hacking has negatively affected the cryptocurrency market"

It is possible to say with certainty that this whole situation will definitely negatively affect both the exchange rate of cryptocurrencies, public opinion and the reputation of bitcoin, believes the CEO of the exMO exchange Sergey Yudanov. According to him, "the whole news feed is full of reports" that the scammers asked to transfer bitcoin, which is impossible to trace and easy to withdraw, although it is not so.

"We need to understand that hackers are unlikely to be able to cash and withdraw BTC, as most exchanges will blacklist their address, and blockchain analyzers will start tracking transaction chains. But, unfortunately, both journalists and opinion leaders are often too lazy to understand the situation," explained Yudanov.

He stressed that the negative impact on the cryptocurrency market is noticeable now. Binance Coin was the hardest hit by the hacking of the exchange's account and the head of Changpan's company, Chang-zhao. At the moment, altcoin is getting cheaper by 2%, despite the growth of half of the list of top 20 altcoins by capitalization.

"I think that it was fundamentally to show the power of hackers and their enormous capabilities. 2FA, complex passwords, serious social network - nothing helped, and one by one the accounts of the coolest serious people were hacked," the expert added.

"The speed and scale of the hacking attack is of great concern"

Gleb Kostarev, Director of Development for Binance in Russia, noted that in the first two hours everyone considered the Twitter attack focused solely on the crypto community, but further actions developed in a different scenario. Kostarev noted that the security team of the exchange immediately reacted and assured that there is not a single account/user of Binance, from which any funds were sent to the address specified in the hacker tweets.

"The speed and scale of the hacking attack is of great concern. The total number of subscribers of the attacked victims came close to the mark of 120 million. Users. It can be assumed that the attack was not aimed at raising money, but rather at a large-scale verification of Twitter's vulnerability. Such actions can cause irreparable damage to the whole world. With such data, it is possible to carry out criminal manipulations in various spheres, including economic and political ones," Kostarev explained.

He stressed that the hacker wallet is not connected with Binance, and all opportunities to send assets from the wallets of the exchange to this address are prevented. The company's security service continues to actively investigate the incident to ensure that users' assets are safe.

Power and enormous opportunities.

"Attack on Twitter will attract another wave of attention to cryptocurrencies"

Hackers have chosen a psychologically accurate and extremely relevant message - help in the fight against Covid-19 and those who suffered from it, said exANTE Managing Partner Alexei Kirienko. Recently, many famous people have taken part in such programs. However, Twitter quickly joined the fight against the attackers, and the amount of fraud was relatively modest.

"This event is unlikely to affect the reputation of cryptocurrencies, except that it will attract another wave of attention. However, it is worth noting that fraud and hacking have become a part of the life of modern people, and you need to be very careful before transferring funds to other people's wallets or plastic cards," the expert advised.

He concluded that data security was a sensitive topic for the entire fintech sector, and had previously undermined the growth of the rate of zOM. It is likely that this incident will have an impact on the company's quotes in the medium term and will spur it to increase security, Kirienko suggested.

Earlier, Twitter revealed details of the largest hacking attack on the social network. The hack was described as a coordinated social engineering attack by people who successfully gained access to internal systems and tools through company employees. Twitter creator Jack Dorsey commented on the incident with the phrase "hard day."


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