Vitalik Buterin Confirmed X Account Hacked by SIM-Swap Attack

Vitalik Buterin Confirmed X Account Hacked by SIM-Swap Attack

Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, has officially verified that the recent breach of his X (Twitter) account occurred due to a SIM-swap attack. Speaking on the decentralized social media network Farcaster, Buterin revealed that he has successfully regained control of his T-Mobile account after the hacker orchestrated a SIM swap attack.

In his statement, Buterin explained, “Yes, it was a SIM swap, meaning that someone socially-engineered T-Mobile itself to take over my phone number.” This incident sheds light on the vulnerability of phone numbers as potential gateways to hacking, even when not used for two-factor authentication (2FA). Buterin emphasized that a phone number alone could be sufficient to initiate a password reset for a Twitter account.

The hack of Buterin’s X account occurred on September 9 when scammers gained access and posted a fake NFT giveaway, luring unsuspecting users to click on a malicious link. As a result, victims collectively lost over $691,000.

Ethereum developer Tim Beiko strongly recommended removing phone numbers from X accounts and enabling 2FA in response to the incident. He suggested, “Seems like a no-brainer to have this default on, or to default turn it on when an account reaches, say, >10k followers,” addressing platform owner Elon Musk.

A SIM-swap or simjacking attack is a technique used by hackers to seize control of a victim’s mobile phone number. Once in control of the number, scammers can utilize 2FA to access social media, bank, and cryptocurrency accounts.

It’s worth noting that this is not the first time T-Mobile has been associated with this type of attack. In 2020, the telecom giant faced a lawsuit for allegedly enabling the theft of $8.7 million worth of cryptocurrency through a series of SIM-swap attacks. T-Mobile was subsequently sued again in February 2021 when a customer lost $450,000 in Bitcoin in yet another SIM-swap attack. These incidents underscore the importance of strengthening security measures against SIM-swap vulnerabilities.

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About Maria Morgan

Maria Morgan is a full-time cryptocurrency journalist at Coinography. She is graduate in Political Science and Journalism from London, her writing is centered around cryptocurrency news, regulation and policy-making across the glob.

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