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From Crypto Promotion To Theft: Hackers Are Expanding Their Infiltration Horizons

The British Army’s Twitter and YouTube accounts were briefly hacked on Sunday.

Adding to the series of crypto-malware attacks, the British Army’s Twitter and YouTube accounts were briefly hacked on Sunday.


While the Twitter handle was used to promote several posts relating to non-fungible tokens, the army’s YouTube account posted various cryptocurrency-related videos and was renamed ‘Ark Invest’.


Ark Invest, an American investment management firm, did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment on the matter.


The crypto market has risen exponentially over the last few years and so have the cyber-attacks, highlighting safety risks and the shortcomings in the system. Governments across the world are trying to step up with the evolving technologies and implement new laws, but the weakness and loopholes persist.


The British Army’s Twitter and YouTube accounts were briefly hacked on Sunday.


In the case of the breach of the British Army’s Twitter and YouTube accounts, which respectively has 363,900 followers and 177,000 subscribers currently, there were some post-incident Tweets by officials informing that the issue was resolved.


 According to a Tweet by the official account of the Ministry of Defence Press Office dated July 4,  an investigation on the matter is underway.


 In a separate Tweet, the British Army apologised for the “temporary interruption” and assured to conduct a full investigation and learn from the incident.


A similar incident happened last week, where Crema Finance, a Solana blockchain-based finance protocol startup, lost millions of dollars in an illicit crypto hack.


 Crema’s crypto assets worth $8.78 million were stolen after the hacker deployed a smart contract and used it to lend a flash loan and validate liquidity, according to a series of Tweets on July 3, that the company posted to explain the attack.


 The startup, which was launched in January this year, suspended the smart contract to minimise the impact of the attack and has also located the funds, the movement of which is tracked, according to the Tweets.


“We’re still open to a communication with the hacker before the time window is closed. Now we are working on the technical fixing and fund tracing simultaneously. Contract will be resumed with issue fixed after the investigation is all done and a resolvement plan is made,” the company Tweeted.


According to data analysis by CoinDesk, the value locked on Crema plunged to $3 million on Monday from over $12 million on Saturday.


 Amid an environment of such cyber attacks, several research and government agencies have highlighted the vulnerabilities in the blockchain system and raised questions about its safety.


 In its Internet Crime Report 2021, the Federal Bureau of Investigation remarked that the criminal use of cryptocurrency was among the top three complaints received in that year. 


“Once limited to hackers, ransomware groups, and other denizens of the “dark web,” cryptocurrency is becoming the preferred payment method for all types of scams – SIM swaps, tech support fraud, employment schemes, romance scams, even some auction fraud,” the report stated. “It is extremely pervasive in investment scams, where losses can reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars per victim.”


According to a blog by Chainalysis, a blockchain research company, decentralised finance, or DeFi protocols became the go-to target for hackers looking to steal cryptocurrency over the course of last year. As of May 1, DeFi protocols account for 97% of the $1.68 billion worth of cryptocurrency stolen in 2022.


Out of this, the whopping Axie Infinity’s Ronin bridge breach in late March worth $600 million and the $320 million attack on the Wormhole Portal in February contributed the most.


Late last month, Chainalysis launched Crypto Incident Response, a rapid response retainer service for cryptocurrency businesses that are high-risk targets for cyber attacks or unauthorised network intrusions that involve cryptocurrency theft or demand, according to the company’s website.


Another positive step toward regulation and monitoring of crypto scams came from Brazil, which has recently launched its cryptocurrency investigation unit. The agency named ‘Crypto’ will spread education and awareness and safeguard investors against financial risks arising out of blockchain investment.