Scammers use Beeple’s hacked Twitter to scam crypto fans out of £348,000

Beeple artwork

Everydays: The First 5000 Days is a collage by digital artist Beeple (Image: Reuters)

Digital artist Beeple’s Twitter account was hacked in a phishing scam that allowed attackers to steal more than US$70,000 (£55,638) in cryptocurrency.

Beeple, whose real name is Mike Winkelmann, has become well known Creating NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and selling them for huge amounts.

Yesterday, the artist’s hacked account posted links to a fake Louis Vuitton NFT giveaway, which follows a real collaboration Beeple recently forged with the luxury fashion house.

Earlier this month, Winkelmann designed 30 NFTs for the luxury fashion brand’s mobile game Louis The Game, embedded as rewards for players.

And the assassins took advantage of this to stage the fake raffle, which in turn robbed people of their money.

Harry Denley, a security analyst at MetaMask, an Ethereum cryptocurrency wallet, warned users that Beeple’s tweets containing the deceptive sweepstakes link were actually a phishing scam designed to steal cryptos from users’ wallets would if clicked.

The scammers posted similar phishing links from Beeple’s Twitter account, resulting in fake Beeple collections promising a sweepstakes entry for 1 ETH that would be refunded if they didn’t win.

The phishing links were active on the hacked Twitter account for about five hours, and an analysis of the wallets of one of the scammers shows that the first phishing link allowed the scammers to steal 36 ether, which was worth about 58,059 at the time £ had.

The second link netted the scammers around £290,299 worth of ETH and NFTs from high-value collections like the Mutant Ape Yacht Club. around £348,358 in total.

All in all, the hack on Beeple’s account resulted in £348,358 being deducted.

On-chain data shows that the scammer is selling the NFTs on OpenSea and trying to launder their stolen ETH.

Beeple later tweeted that he regained control of his account.

Discord and the video game Axie Infinity are one of the many servers that have fallen victim to recent phishing attacks that take advantage of the rising popularity of NFTs and cryptocurrency.

What is phishing?

Phishing is a type of social engineering cyberattack in which scammers trick victims into handing over sensitive information or installing malware.

“Blockchain is still vulnerable to traditional cybersecurity risks like phishing,” said David Mahdi, consultant at cybersecurity firm Sectigo.

“It is no longer enough to pay attention to crudely worded emails – recipients must also pay attention to context, content and sender, especially when it comes to financial transactions on the blockchain.”

Beeple is a 3D artist best known for being the first to sell his digital artworks for a record-breaking £50.5 million in ether cryptocurrency at a Christie’s auction.

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Justin Scacco

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