UK Army’s Twitter and YouTube accounts hacked to promote crypto rip-offs

A screenshot of the British Army’s Twitter profile when it was hacked, through Wayback Machine. Its profile and banner images were altered to look like a nonfungible token collection called “The Possessed.”

A hacker jeopardized the social networks accounts of the British Army to press individuals towards cryptocurrency rip-offs.

The army’s Twitter and YouTube profiles were taken control of by the hacker, or hackers — the identity of whom is not yet understood — on Sunday. The Twitter account’s name was altered to “pssssd,” and its profile and banner images were altered to look like a nonfungible token collection called “The Possessed.”

The Possessed’s authorities Twitter account alerted users of a “new verified SCAM account” impersonating the collection of NFTs — tokens representing ownership of pieces of online material.

Earlier Sunday, the account was relabelled “Bapesclan” — the name of another NFT collection — while its banner image was altered to an animation ape with clown makeup on. The hacker likewise started retweeting posts promoting NFT free gift plans.

Bapesclan didn’t right away react to a CNBC direct message on Twitter.

The name of the U.K. armed force’s YouTube account, on the other hand, was altered to “Ark Invest,” the financial investment company of Tesla and bitcoin bull Cathie Wood.

The hacker erased all the account’s videos and changed with them with livestreams of old clips drawn from a discussion with Elon Musk and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey on bitcoin that was hosted by Ark in July 2021. Text was contributed to the livestreams directing users to crypto fraud sites.

Both accounts have actually because been gone back to their rightful owner.

“The breach of the Army’s Twitter and YouTube accounts that occurred earlier today has been resolved and an investigation is underway,” Britain’s Ministry of Defense tweeted Monday.

“The Army takes information security extremely seriously and until their investigation is complete it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

A Twitter representative validated the British Army’s account “was compromised and has since been locked and secured.”

“The account holders have now regained access and the account is back up and running,” the representative informed CNBC through e-mail.

A YouTube agent was not right away offered for remark when reached by CNBC.

Tobias Ellwood, a British Conservative legislator who chairs the defense committee in Parliament, stated the breach “looks serious.”

“I hope the results of the investigation and actions taken will be shared appropriately.”

It’s not the very first time a prominent social networks account has actually been made use of by hackers to promote crypto rip-offs. In 2020, the Twitter accounts of Musk, President Joe Biden and various others were taken control of to dupe their fans of bitcoin.

CNBC’s Lora Kolodny added to this report


News and digital media editor, writer, and communications specialist. Passionate about social justice, equity, and wellness. Covering the news, viewing it differently.

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