Bitcoin (BTC) has made global news again due to the recent attack on Twitter, but this time, we need to work harder to protect the integrity of Bitcoin and the progress the industry has made.
The coordinated social engineering attack compromised the Twitter accounts of high-profile figures and organizations such as Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Tesla founder Elon Musk, Amazon owner Jeff Bezos, former U.S. President Barack Obama, and U.S. Presidential candidate for 2020 Joe Biden, among many others, to call for Bitcoin in fake „Bitcoin gift“ publications.
When the story broke, the New York Times, the BBC and other media were quick to label the incident a „Bitcoin scam“ or „crypto-scam.
The fact that „Bitcoin“ and „scam“ are being used at the same time in the global media may seem that all the work that has been done to build confidence in this revolutionary technology since its inception in 2009 has been in vain.
This is one more reason why companies and their communications teams must turn the publicity that Bitcoin is now receiving into something positive for the industry.
Twitter hackers attempt to launder funds through P2P operations and betting platforms
Clarifying things: Bitcoin Era is not to blame
The first point to clarify with the media, friends, family and newcomers is that this is a high profile Twitter hack.
It’s not a „Bitcoin hack,“ or a „Bitcoin Twitter hack“ or even a „Bitcoin Twitter hack“ – as described in The Evening Standard and even Wired – because Bitcoin was not hacked, nor did Bitcoin cause the hack.
It’s even more disturbing to see The Late Show with Stephen Colbert describe the hackers as „Bitcoin Bandits,“ when the hackers‘ motives have not been confirmed.
Twitter is a centralized organization; it keeps all user data and accounts in one place. For hackers to access so many Twitter accounts, they would have to log into Twitter’s centralized database.
Let’s explain this clearly: Hackers broke into the Twitter database and compromised high-profile accounts to ask for Bitcoin.
A report by CNN Business did justice to the story by saying that the scam itself was quite common and that Bitcoin was just „the currency used to quickly charge for the hack.
Related: Twitter wouldn’t have been hacked if it was backed by blockchain technology
The argument for Bitcoin as a decentralized currency
This hacking raises concerns about the vulnerability of the centralized organizations that maintain our data and reinforces the case for Bitcoin’s decentralized peer-to-peer network.
Within hours of the initial fake tweets, the hacker’s Bitcoin address received approximately $120,000 from Bitcoin in 375 transactions. To put it in context, $120,000 is a minor loss compared to the notorious crypto-hacking that the industry has seen, such as the $40 million that was stolen from the Binance crypto-currency exchange in May 2019.
We should also clarify that the unfortunate cryptostraw holders who lost their funds were unfortunately duped by a false promise of duplicate funds rather than having their funds „stolen“.
Although Bitcoin transactions are irreversible, this is the best opportunity for newcomers to learn the benefits of Bitcoin traceability, because the Bitcoin that was ultimately voluntarily sent to the hackers can be easily traced in a Blockchain browser.
Not long after the hacker was discovered, Twitter restricted the possibility of people tweeting crypto currency addresses. The crypto community can also argue that this did not make a big difference to the security of user funds because it is more difficult to steal from a crypto account (unless you have the private key to that account), while publicly sharing bank account details can be a serious problem.
This is a serious breach of the centralized Twitter database, and the FBI has launched an investigation into national security concerns.
However, it turns out that Bitcoin was the currency that the hackers were demanding this time.