- Crypto exchange site Coinbase said it saved almost $280,000, or 30.4 bitcoin, from transferring to the attackers that orchestrated last week’s hack on Twitter, per a Forbes report.
- The company said just 14 users sent a total of $3,000 to the hackers before Coinbase blacklisted the scam address.
- The attackers were found to have collected $121,000 from users on July 15 in the hack that Twitter is still investigating.
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Bitcoin exchange service Coinbase said it blocked bitcoin amounting to almost $280,000 from being transferred to the attackers behind the massive hack that took over Twitter last week, according to a Forbes report.
On July 13, hackers compromised 130 high-profile Twitter accounts, including that of former President Barack Obama, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and Kanye West. Hijackers used the accounts to advertise a scam asking customers to donate bitcoin to phony cryptocurrency addresses. They ultimately got away with $121,000 from unsuspecting victims.
But per the report, that sum could have been much more than that had Coinbase — the largest exchange platform for bitcoin and cryptocurrency in the US — not intervened. Philip Martin, the company’s chief information security officer, told the outlet that just 14 Coinbase users sent a collective $3,000 to hijackers before the company blacklisted the fraudulent address, halting transaction from more than 1,000 customers.
“We noticed within about a minute of the Gemini and Binance tweets,” Martin told Forbes, referring to tweets posted from the two fellow crypto exchange services during the hack. The San Francisco-based Coinbase is prepping to go public as early as this year.
The news comes as Twitter continues to investigate who was behind the hack, which resulted in 45 accounts publishing tweets advertising the bitcoin scam. At least eight users had their data scraped, including direct messages. The company has confirmed that hackers conducted the attack with an internal administrative tool used to manage accounts that they obtained from a Twitter employee.
Cybersecurity experts told Business Insider’s Lisa Eadicicco that the hack could have been much worse than it was or could possibly be a distraction for conducting a more sophisticated cyberattack, though there’s currently no evidence to support that.
“I can only speculate about the true intentions behind this scam, but at the surface level, it appears their goal was to show off, get some attention, have a little fun, and walk away with a pocket full of cash in the end,” Luis Corrons, a security evangelist for antivirus software-maker Avast, said.