Bitcoin got a hell lot of publicity today. Was it a positive one or negative one is the question.
Jokes apart, today we witnessed one of the biggest hack of a social media platform in recent history. This once again showcased to the world how vulnerable are centralized systems. All centralized systems have a centralized point of failure which can be compromised at some point of time.
There is a long list of Twitter accounts that were compromised including major crypto exchanges, their CEOs, Politicians, Media, Tech enterpreneurs, celebrities etc. Most of these accounts had over a million followers.
Twitter figured out the problem:
We detected what we believe to be a coordinated social engineering attack by people who successfully targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools.— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 16, 2020
But you can never eliminate the risk of social engineering attack completely.
With their double-your-bitcoin in 30 minute offer posted from several trusted accounts, scammer were successful in pocketing about $125000 from over 300 people.
During the hack, I came across several Tweets that were shaming the victims for falling to a scammer and for not taking adequate precautions. Everyone was blaming victims but no one was blaming Twitter for it.
Because they felt they were smarter as they didn't fall into the scamer's trap so they felt privileged to give some educational lessons to the victims.
The point is, not everyone is as smart as you. Not everyone is in the same life situation or mental state as you. Some people may be under tremendous financial pressure and are looking for any quick money scheme as a god sent help and a boon.
What will they evaluate when the people, whom they trust and look up to, whom they are followng on Twitter for years and whom they trust more than themselves suddenly post a giveaway tweet? Moreover, scammer created a time pressure to act within 30 minutes. So people don't get much time to think for acting upon that deal.
There is a time in everyone's life when your smartness is over-powered by greed or urgent necesities of your life that require immediate money. However there is only a small minority of such people at any given time.
Did you notice the fact that scam message was distributed to millions of people. Still, only about 300-350 could be scammed. IMO, it was far less than what I was expecting. It could easily have been much more than that!
There was no way to know if a verified Twitter account is not what it is (in the moment of scam tweet). This was completely fault of the Twitter and not the victim.
You just can't blame the victim and get away!
On the other hand, some Indian media is using this news to portray Bicoin as a scam. Now this is not even factual.
But why Bitcoin is being pointed as a scam?
Well, most of the media has reported this incident with two words "Bitcoin scam" in their headline. In fact, the whole event has been named as 2020 Twitter Bitcoin Scam. So in short, it is being referred as Bitcoin scam.
In fact, media reports are stating it as "Twitter acounts hacked in Bitcoin scam".
Some like NDTV have gone a step further and are saying it as Crypto scam. So whole industry of cryptocurrencies can be portrayed as scam. That's what Indian government's narrative is!
In summary, in this unfortunate incident, I've seen and heard criticism of scammed victims, criticism of Bitcoin & cryptocurrency but haven't came across similar criticism of Twitter in comparison. In fact, Twitter should bear the major chunk of blame for this.
Market responded with only 4% drop in Twitter's stock prices. Does that mean vulnerability of Twitter is acceptable to the market and its users?