Last Updated on 2 weeks by Ameer Hamza
Ethereum‘s co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, has been the point of another recent hacking case. The hacking happened over the weekend through the X (formerly Twitter) account of the software developer.
With millions of followers on the X social media app, Vitalik Buterin is an easy target for hackers looking to swindle crypto users. Ever since the hack, the crypto community has been buzzing about what could have gone wrong to cause the hack of such a renowned tech expert.
How and Why the hack happened
The attack was carried out successfully when the hacker accessed Vitalik Buterin X’s account and posted a malicious link to lure his followers. In the post, the hacker shared the news of the arrival of Proto-Danksharding to the Ethereum community. To celebrate its arrival, he added a URL that promised a free NFT collection to users who connected their wallets.
As expected, users who connected their wallets through the malicious link had all their assets stolen by the hacker. About $691,000 was drained from users’ wallets, with a more significant percentage of their value being high-profile non-fungible tokens.
Although alert users on crypto X could recognize the corrupted link, which was deleted soon, many users had connected their wallets. The hacker had already made away with almost $150,000, which later increased to $691,000.
The co-founder later confirmed that the X account hack resulted from a SIM swap attack. A SIM swap attack involves taking control of a person’s number to overcome two-factor authentication measures on websites. Vitalik Buterin blamed the lackluster OTP authentication of X for the hack, which resulted in substantial financial losses for his followers who fell prey to the post.
To him, the primary lesson from the incident is that a phone number is sufficient to change the password of an X account, even when such a phone number is not used for 2FA. Some X users have also highlighted that rather than the OTP means of security, a two-factor authentication process that does not include the phone number is better. Vitalik Buterin has since announced that he has recovered his X account.
Crypto investors have consistently been victims of hackers and have lost millions in the hands of scams and rug pulls. The event of the hack of Vitalik Buterin X’s account is a crucial pointer to the fact that security still needs to develop in the crypto world.
In addition, malicious links like that are the order of the day for hackers to lure innocent users and steal their assets. As a crypto trader or investor, you should be cautious of the links you visit. Due diligence and adequate research remain the order of the day so as not to fall victim to phishing fraud and asset theft.
Lastly, adequate security for crypto exchange platforms and social media sites should become paramount.