Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin disclosed that he had fallen victim to a SIM swap attack. This startling admission unfolded during a conversation on Farcaster, a decentralized social media network, where Buterin candidly shared the details of his ordeal and the key lessons learned.
The malicious attacker exploited a SIM-swap vulnerability, leading to the compromise of his Twitter account, Buterin recounted, as he successfully regained control of his T-Mobile account in the aftermath. He highlighted the inherent risk of using a phone number for password recovery on Twitter, even when it is employed for two-factor authentication [2FA].
He therefore urged users to “completely remove [their] phone from Twitter,” offering an additional layer of protection against such exploits. On September 9, hackers illegally took over Buterin’s Twitter account and posted a fraudulent NFT giveaway. Gullible users who clicked on the malicious link collectively suffered losses exceeding $691,000.
The following day, Ethereum developer Tim Beiko also called for the removal of phone numbers from Twitter accounts and the implementation of 2FA as a default security protocol. “If you have a phone number linked to your account, even with other 2FA, it can be used to reset your PW. You need to specifically disable it and remove the phone.”
In a SIM-swap attack, scammers seized control of a victim’s mobile phone number, which they used to exploit 2FA to infiltrate social media platforms, banking systems, and cryptocurrency accounts. T-Mobile, the mobile carrier affiliated with Buterin’s SIM card, has faced scrutiny for its role in similar attacks in the past.
Ethereum Hit Hard By FTX Dumping
The Ethereum founder’s latest ordeal serves as a stark reminder of the vulnerabilities associated with phone numbers in the realm of online security. The crypto community was further jolted when a substantial 2,000 ETH, equivalent to approximately $3.12 million, were illicitly transferred from Buterin’s wallet to another, magnifying the urgency of bolstering security measures within the crypto sphere.
In the midst of these developments, Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, has not remained immune to the broader market downturn. This decline comes as the financially troubled cryptocurrency exchange FTX aims to offload its crypto assets. Presently, Ethereum is changing hands at $1,543, marking its lowest price point in half a year.