San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has reportedly stopped 1,100 of its users from sending at least $300,000 to the hackers that hijacked dozens of high-profile Twitter accounts.
Coinbase’s chief information security officer, Philip Martin, told Forbes that cryptocurrency exchange noticed the Twitter hack “within about a minute of the Gemini and Binance tweets” and quickly moved to blacklist the address requesting funds via a fake bitcoin giveaway.,
The Twitter hack saw the attackers highjack the accounts of prominent figures like former President Barack Obama, presidential candidate Joe Biden, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and others. They also hijacked the accounts of cryptocurrencies exchanges and other firms, including Binance, Coinbase, Apple, and Uber. The incident is being investigated by the FBI.
Coinbase’s move to blacklist the addresses stopped 1,100 users from sending a total of 30.4 bitcoin to the address the scammers were promoting. In total, it’s worth noting, the scammers made little over $120,000 with the scam, and have already started moving those funds.
A total of 14 Coinbase users, however, did send $3,000 worth of BTC to the address before the exchange managed to blacklist it. Martin noted:
It was a vanishingly small group of Coinbase users that tried to send bitcoin to the scam address.
He added the cryptocurrency exchange often blacklists the bitcoin and cryptocurrency addresses used by giveaway scammers in a bid to protect its users. Similarly, Forbes reports other exchanges, including Gemini, Kraken, and Binance, stopped funds from flowing into the hacker’s bitcoin address.
Kraken’s chief executive officer, Jesse Powell, noted the hack shows “security is about layers of protection,2 and added scams of this nature are now net. Kraken, he said, “proactively monitors for this type of activity and blocks certain addresses that we come across.”
When the hackers managed to access Twitter’s internal systems and tools, the microblogging platform also moved to stop the scammers from receiving BTC from victims. It first temporarily prevented verified users from tweeting, and then blocked posts that included a bitcoin address.
The security breach made headlines throughout the world, with various news outlets explaining what cryptocurrencies are to their readers. This, Binance’s CEO Changpeng Zhao said, was “net positive” for the cryptocurrency space.