Twitter accounts belonging to various companies and personalities in the cryptocurrency industry were recently hacked or impersonified, and scammers, in some cases, stole money from their targets. It could introduce tools based on layered trust and give more power to users to control their accounts and what they share.
Twitter users, at least in the crypto industry, have witnessed a number of impersonation and even take-down of scam accounts mimicking even some of the best known projects and successfully stealing money from people. If there is anything the bizarre incidences revealed is the fact that there could be lax verification practices but also the fact that people are willing to fall even for silly claims of getting profits from cryptocurrencies.
It seems that for as long as you can get a photo ID, you can dupe Twitter into its the blue check mark of authenticity for your account. He said the recent scare drops were associating with many investors trying to sell off their holdings to avoid paying taxes on them.
Form there, you start posting as though you were the real person or entity. One recent scam involving a scammer on people to send some Eth with a promise that they would get the funds increased and sent back to the owner. It is said some fell to that silly claim!
For one, may be because they were impersonating a large company, Tron Foundation, and two because people are unwilling to verify claims about cryptocurrencies. So many times, it is not even about regulations because regulations cannot protect people beyond the extent of them being responsible. In this case, the account was not even hacked or taken over by someone else.
But the happenings could also reveal the dire need for more security — ould Twitter use blockchain for that, I do not know. Surprisingly, the debate hasn’t touched there yet when you compare it with Facebook’s recent woes. But if claims of hacking and taking over accounts belonging to cryptocurrency users and the likes of John McAfee are anything to go by. However, then there is a serious need for more security for the accounts at Twitter.
McAfee claimed that someone took over the account and posted some tweets. Another incidence is that involving freelance film producer and director Seif Elsbei’s account. The verified account was hacked and taken over and someone went ahead to post messages. As crypto exchange Bitfinex and Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin.
“Protafield” verified account also staged fake Ether giveaways after changing identity and impersonating crypto exchanges.
Twitter and any other social media or channels are as very critical in cryptocurrencies. It is because they can cause price swings given the volatility sensitivity. Most of the price swings follow comments by influencers either known to have a huge control in the crypto project. Therefore in question or have other sources of control such as in regulations.
Blue mark tick not trustworthy anymore
Many people see the blue mark tick, which signifies a verified account. However, as something that shows the account is trusted by Twitter and known. But all the involved accounts above were verified. In the case of Tron Foundation, scammers in all the cases also run verified accounts. Thus, parallel to the official accounts of the companies and individuals involved. In some cases, some scammers buy or hack accounts belonging to other people. And change the names and account details to reflect whomever they want to impersonate.
So by look at the facial value, the account may appear, to a user, to have been run for quite sometime in the industry.
It means if the incidences are something to go by, the verification won’t tell you about the intent of the account holder. It means users shouldn’t trust accounts by the face value and offers. Now, companies are spending a lot of money to fight back.
Coinbase is one of those companies according to a statement by their spokesman,
“We dedicate a lot of resources towards combating illegitimate Twitter accounts and educating our users on how to spot them. However, our impact on certain sites is limited.”
Nice and fake promotional vocabulary or language but with evil inspiration…and bots
Nick Lucas, founder of the Los Angeles-based social media analysis startup CoinTrend also told CoinDesk. However, that scammers are now learning the ‘better and nicer’ language and vocabulary and language analysis. Thus, to use in scamming people — even in their promotions, which was not the case before. It seems scammers’ have been analysing about “what makes this and that project so successful?” and wrongly concluded that “nice language” is the only or major driver of project success.
Another trend by some scammers is that their bot and spam accounts promote tokens in packs and swarms. Since it is to promote each other’s reputations and boost visibility. This is much easier to identify.
Yet the solution could also be from Twitter. For instance, they could give users more control to determine who sees their posts and who shows up in their fees. Tim Pastoor, founder of the Netherlands-based digital identity startup 2way.io supports this approach. People are more likely to trust family members and co-workers than total strangers. Therefore a tool based on layered approach to trust can also reduce the problem.