Using the Wayback Machine, a screenshot of the British Army’s hacked Twitter account. Its profile and banner images were modified to resemble “The Possessed,” a collection of non-fungible tokens.
The British Army’s social media accounts were hacked, and the hacker used them to direct people toward cryptocurrency scams.
The hacker, or hackers, whose identities are still unknown, took control of the army’s Twitter and YouTube accounts on Sunday. The profile and banner images of the Twitter account were changed to resemble a nonfungible token collection called “The Possessed,” and the account’s name was changed to “pssssd.”
The official Twitter account for The Possessed alerted followers to a “new verified SCAM account” impersonating the group of NFTs, the tokens that signify ownership of online content.
The account’s banner image was changed to a cartoon ape wearing clown makeup earlier on Sunday, and the name of the account was changed to “Bapesclan,” the name of another NFT collection. The hacker started retweeting tweets that promoted NFT giveaway schemes as well.
Bapesclan didn’t reply right away to a Twitter direct message from CNBC.
Meanwhile, the name of the U.K. military’s YouTube account was changed to “Ark Invest,” the company Cathie Wood, a Tesla and bitcoin bull, runs.
The hacker removed all of the account’s videos and replaced them with livestreams of old clips from a discussion on bitcoin that was hosted by Ark in July 2021 and featured Elon Musk and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. The livestreams had text added directing viewers to cryptocurrency scam websites.
Since then, both accounts have been given back to their rightful owners.
The British Ministry of Defense tweeted on Monday, “The breach of the Army’s Twitter and YouTube accounts that occurred earlier today has been resolved and an investigation is underway.”
“The Army takes information security very seriously, and further comment would be inappropriate until their investigation is complete.”
The British Army’s account “was compromised and has since been locked and secured,” according to a Twitter spokesperson.
The spokesperson informed CNBC via email that “the account holders have now regained access and the account is back up and running.”
When contacted by CNBC, a YouTube representative was not immediately available for comment.
The defense committee’s chairman, British Conservative lawmaker Tobias Ellwood, said the breach “looks serious.”
“I hope the investigation’s findings and the steps taken will be appropriately shared.”
It’s not the first time that hackers have taken advantage of popular social media accounts to spread cryptocurrency scams. The Twitter accounts of Elon Musk, Joe Biden, and many others were hacked in 2020 in order to defraud their followers of bitcoin.