Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin’s account on X (formerly Twitter) was compromised. The hack was confirmed by Vitalik’s father, Dmitriy Buterin, through his own X account.
This breach had serious repercussions, as the attacker used Vitalik’s compromised account to promote a phishing link that targeted crypto and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) from unsuspecting victims.
On-chain investigator ZachXBT revealed that the hacker successfully drained approximately $691,000 worth of assets from victims who interacted with the phishing link. This was a significant loss for those who fell prey to the scam.
The phishing post, which has since been deleted, enticed victims by falsely claiming to celebrate the arrival of “Proto-Danksharding” on the Ethereum network.
The hacker posted a malicious link, enticing victims with the promise of a free commemorative NFT. To create a sense of urgency, the fake NFT mint had a 24-hour time limit, pressuring victims to act swiftly.
Among the assets stolen in this attack was a valuable CryptoPunk NFT worth 153 ETH, equivalent to approximately $250,000.
This NFT belonged to Ethereum developer Bok Khoo. Unfortunately, the attacker managed to sell most of the stolen NFTs, and a significant portion of the proceeds remains in the hacker’s wallet.
A user on X placed blame on Vitalik Buterin, alleging that his negligence had enabled the attack. The user asserted that the Ethereum founder should take responsibility and compensate the victims.
They argued that if a founder of a traditional finance platform had posted fraudulent links, similar action would be expected to prevent potential lawsuits.
The user further speculated that the hack on Vitalik’s account might have been executed through a SIM swap, a method where attackers take control of a victim’s phone number. They do this by convincing the victim’s mobile carrier to transfer the phone number to a new SIM card.
However, ZachXBT cautioned against jumping to conclusions. He pointed out that the assumption that it was a SIM swap might not be accurate.
Vitalik’s high-profile status makes him a lucrative target, and an insider or a different method might have been employed for the hack.