Ethereum Co-Founder's Account Hacked in Fake NFT Giveaway Scam

Learn about the recent hack on Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin's Twitter account and the fake NFT giveaway scam that stole $691,000 from his followers.

Posted 8 months ago in Security


Vitalik Buterin holding a microphone at a conference

The Ethereum co-founder’s account was hacked and used to promote a fake NFT giveaway that stole $691,000 from his followers. Vitalik Buterin has shared details of how hackers managed to steal $691,000 from his followers last week. In a post on decentralized social network Farcaster, Buterin explained that hackers used a SIM swap attack to gain access to his Twitter account and his 4.9 million followers.

According to Buterin, the hack was possible because Farcaster uses a phone number for account recovery. Even without using the number as 2FA, a phone number alone is enough to reset a Twitter password. Buterin noted the importance of removing phone numbers from Twitter accounts to enhance security.

In response to the hack, Buterin praised Farcaster’s use of Ethereum addresses as a more secure way to prevent account compromise. He expressed gratitude for being part of a platform where account recovery can be controlled via Ethereum addresses.

The exploit occurred on September 9 and involved a fake NFT giveaway. Victims were prompted to click on a malicious link, resulting in a collective loss of over $691,000. Crypto Twitter users quickly raised awareness about the scam, but it was the first apparent acknowledgment that Buterin was hacked.

Following the incident, the hackers sent Buterin an email from the NFT collection they used in the scam. The NFT project's team later reimbursed the victims.

This is not the first time the Buterin family has been targeted by Twitter hackers. In a separate incident, Vitalik’s mother Natalia Ameline, who works for Metis, a layer-2 scaling solution for Ethereum, had her account hacked and used to post malicious links.

Last updated 9/12/2023, 8:52:19 PM

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