On Wednesday, Twitter users in the United States woke up to the shocking news that multiple bigwigs had their accounts hacked in one of the biggest social media security breaches in history. The Twitter accounts of personalities like Kanye West, Elon Musk and Bill Gates were hacked with the intention of scamming people of their holdings.
The hacked accounts asked users to deposit capital in Bitcoin to specific wallet addresses with the promise of doubling what they sent. By the time Twitter support realized what was happening, millions of dollars worth of transfers had occurred.
Two days after the attack, investigative authorities were trying to figure out who was behind the attacks and what it could mean for future security protocols. The attack was widespread, attacking not just pop celebrities but politicians such as Joe Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu as well. It can only be left to the imagination what would have happened if the hackers had done something more extreme.
To ensure that the hacker’s trail does not go cold, US blockchain forensics firm Chainalysis stated that a digital wallet used to consolidate the BTC had previous links to other merchant service providers. Maddie Kennedy, the spokesperson for Chainalysis had said:
“They have interacted with service providers that have know-your-customer processes, and law enforcement can work with those service providers to find out who can be behind those accounts.”
Twitter has been working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI] to uncover the trails of the heist. The main problem that law enforcement has faced is with regarding tracing the Bitcoin wallet. Since Bitcoin is completely decentralized it becomes difficult to track the exact location and owner of the Bitcoin wallet. The only information that is available right now is the Bitcoin wallet address to which some people transferred their capital to.
Tom Robinson, an official of blockchain analysis firm Elliptic admitted that the Bitcoin transfers left very few clues to trace it back to its source. One of the wallets involved even had some active transactions going back some time, making it a key lead.