Hooray, Hackers Turned My Twitter Into an NFT Hype Factory

If you had told me last Wednesday afternoon, when my Twitter account had a grand total of three tweets and 200-something followers, that roughly 24 hours later the account would have tweeted 577 times and boosted its follower count to 42,000, I would not have believed you. And if you had further told me that this unfathomable ascent was all part of a massive scam to con would-be Moonbird buyers out of tens of thousands of dollars in cryptocurrency, I would have asked you what a Moonbird is. And yet here we are.

Let’s back up for a moment. On Wednesday, my Twitter account was hacked. The hackers immediately reset the password and changed the associated email address, completely locking me out. I reported the hacking to Twitter Support, but I did not find it particularly concerning, in part because I check Twitter about as often as I send handwritten letters and in part because, for a while at least, the hackers did not seem to be doing much of anything with the account. For all I knew, they could have been wreaking havoc in my DMs (and, as it turned out, they would wreak some mild havoc), but at a glance everything looked the same as it always did.

Until the next day. On Thursday morning, the account transformed into a near-perfect replica of the official Twitter account for Moonbirds, an NFT—non-fungible token—collection that debuted in mid-April and promptly generated $489 million in trading volume in its first two weeks of existence, the most of any collection over that period. (Individual Moonbird NFTs are basically colorful little pixelated owls. They look sort of like a cross between a Club Penguin avatar and a Pokémon. You can buy your own for $80,000.) The hackers changed my account’s name, bio, profile picture, and cover photo to match the official Moonbirds account, except with a scam link instead of the real link for buying the NFTs. They deleted my three tweets and, rather deviously, retweeted a warning from the official Moonbirds account for…

Read more at www.theatlantic.com

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