The biggest Twitter hack in history helped attackers to collect some USD 120,000 in Bitcoin (BTC) that are currently on the move, according to blockchain analysis companies.
“Three bitcoin addresses were used, which together received around 400 payments. The total value of the bitcoin payments received is approximately USD 120,000. Approximately half of these payments originated from US-based exchanges, suggesting that around half of the victims of this scam are based in the US. The remainder is fairly evenly split between Asia and Europe,” Elliptic said.
According to them, there is no clear evidence that these funds have moved to exchanges yet.
“However, some of these funds have moved through a wallet that has previously transacted with exchanges. This could be an important lead for law enforcement investigators seeking to identify the hacker,” they said.
The company added, that it doesn’t look like the hackers will receive significant additional payments: “Their challenge now is to launder these funds – with the world watching them on the blockchain.”
“It depends on what they do next, it depends on how they try to cash out,” Tom Robinson, Co-founder of Elliptic, told Bloomberg. If they try to use a regulated exchange in the US, finding them will be easy. But if they try to cash out through one of the hundreds of small, unregulated exchanges, that could be harder, he was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, Chainalysis said that “the Ripple address that was posted has not received any funds at this time.” However, there may be other scam addresses.
“The largest victim (USD 40,000) seems to come from a Japanese wallet based on the wallet’s previous transactions with Japanese exchanges. Most of the other sources of victim funds are international exchanges w/ a small amount from US exchanges,” the company said.
On Wednesday, a number of high-profile Twitter accounts were simultaneously hacked, sending out tweets promising to double the money of anyone sending funds via BTC within an hour.
Among the victims are Joe Biden, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg, Kanye West, Uber, Apple, Kim Kardashian West, Barack Obama, Warren Buffett, CashApp, and others.
Accounts of major crypto exchanges were also compromised.
Twitter said that they have “detected what we believe to be a coordinated social engineering attack by people who successfully targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools.”
The company has also limited functionality for a much larger group of accounts, “like all verified accounts (even those with no evidence of being compromised), while we continue to fully investigate this.”