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Retail Giant Target Hacked by Bitcoin Scammers

Retail Giant Target Hacked by Bitcoin Scammers 101
Source: iStock/jimkruger

Target, American retail giant, was briefly hacked on Twitter by Bitcoin scammers who pushed malicious Bitcoin giveaway links to its almost two million followers. The tweet promises 5,000 BTC to the community in exchange for a “small fee” of 0.2 to 4 BTC - the usual scam that’s too often seen on Twitter.

Retail Giant Target Hacked by Bitcoin Scammers 102

The tweet was fortunately quickly deleted, but many noticed it nonetheless. Noticing the tweet was actually promoted, Twitter user @clifford_banes writes, “Holy sh*t someone hacked Target, and then Twitter actually sold them ad space for a Bitcoin scam, presumably on a stolen credit card. Jack Dorsey is f*cking magic.” User @cheekbyname replies, “If by ‘magic’ you mean ‘asleep at the wheel.’”

User @LibraryTan takes it a step further with a limerick: “Target’s Twitter was hacked, so I guess / For a Bitcoin scam, with finesse / For the difference I noted / Was the tweet was Promoted / The hackers Expect More, Pay Less.” "Expect More, Pay Less" is the official slogan of the company.

"Early this morning, Target’s Twitter account was inappropriately accessed. The access lasted for approximately half an hour and one fake tweet was posted during that time about a bitcoin scam. We’re in close contact with Twitter, have deleted the tweet and have locked the account while we investigate further," Target's spokesperson Danielle Schumann told Cryptonews.com.

"We’ve been in close contact with Target this morning and can also confirm that their account was inappropriately accessed for approximately half an hour, after which we swiftly locked the account so Twitter could thoroughly investigate the issue. We also identified a number of other accounts that were inappropriately accessed in relation to this scam and have moved quickly to also take action against them. We will continue to closely monitor the situation," a Twitter spokesperson said in an emailed statement to Cryptonews.com.

According to the spokesperson, "scammers are constantly changing their methods and it’s our job to stay on top of their movements, observe their actions and work to stay one step ahead. In most cases, our enforcement teams are detecting fraudulent activity and taking it down before it’s reported."

Twitter scammers are both growing bolder by the day, and earning more: only recently, an account claiming to be Elon Musk earned more than USD 180,000 within 24 hours.

This new scam doesn’t appear to have been quite as successful: a search of its Bitcoin address reveals that the corresponding wallet has so far received a total of 5.86342085 BTC – about USD 36,887 – from unsuspecting victims.

Given that the fake Target tweet used a graphical layout similar to those found with the earlier Elon Musk scams, it’s possible that some of this sum comes from other tweets, although the Blockchain explorer confirms that the address has been receiving payments only as far back as yesterday.

Either way, this latest scam casts further negative light on the reliability of Twitter’s blue ticks, which supposedly verify that an account is genuine. They also raise serious questions for its ad system, seeing as how the fake tweet was actually ‘Promoted’ by Twitter.

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