Reported by Mashable an apparent hacker has been using a discontinued TV show’s verified Twitter account to promote a cryptocurrency scam.
A nefarious Twitter user appears to have gained access to the official @AlmostHumanFOX account, and has been tweeting from the account since the beginning of the month.
During this time, the account, which is followed by almost 19,000 Twitter users, has been promoting cryptocurrency “giveaways” and impersonating Justin Sun, the influential founder and CEO of Chinese blockchain company TRON.
As TheNextWeb points out, cryptocurrency “giveaway” scams have plagued Twitter in recent months. Even Elon Musk has complained about it. Basically, a scammer attempts to convince Twitter users through faked accounts to send them a small amount of cryptocurrency and in turn, the scammer promises to send them back crypto in tenfold. The scammer then takes the original crypto deposit and runs, never returning any of the currency.
In the case of the compromised @AlmostHumanFOX account, a hacker has not only managed to take control over a verified Twitter account, but also managed to remain in control of the account for almost a full month (from July 1 to today, July 24).
The sci-fi series Almost Human aired for one season on FOX and was cancelled in 2014. Since then, its Twitter account has remained inactive. Then, suddenly, on July 1, the account woke from its 4 year slumber and tweeted.
Hi everyone) How are you?
— Justiп Sun (@AlmostHumanFOX) July 2, 2018
Fans of the show took notice.
Missing this show 😞— Andrea Nielsen (@MerlinXVI) July 2, 2018
Are you teasing us?!?— Heals (@helix1027) July 2, 2018
Figured this Twitter would be dead by now. Miss you guys.— Tim Murtland (@TimJMurt) July 2, 2018
Within days the account began discussing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency in the Twitter replies of various crypto companies and news sites. Before long, the hacker changed the account’s avatar, profile header image, and display name to mimic that of Justin Sun’s account.
The @AlmostHumanFOX account, now looking like Sun’s account, then replied to Sun’s tweets with links to the cryptocurrency “giveaway” in hopes of fooling Sun’s fans. Sun’s actual Twitter account has over 400,000 followers.
The Twitter account hack has seemingly gone on unnoticed by Fox and Twitter. As of July 24, the hacked @AlmostHumanFOX account is still tweeting cryptocurrency scams under the guise of Justin Sun. Its worth noting that while Twitter removes the blue checkmark verification from accounts that change usernames, it allows verified accounts to change its display name without losing verified status. This technicality has been exploited by whoever is controlling the @AlmostHumanFOX account.
Here is the hacked account:
While accounts have been compromised before, even verified ones, the span of time this has gone on for, completely under the radar, is certainly alarming. The @AlmostHumanFOX account isn’t the only now-dormant verified Twitter handle out there open to hacking. But at least a most dormant accounts sit idly rather than being used for nefarious purposes.