In an embarrassing development for the Social Democrats, Swedes awoke on Monday to the government hawking Bitcoin Core (BTC), with hackers using their short time in control of the Twitter account to urge Swedes to buy BTC.
Amongst other tweets, the hacked account published the false suggestion BTC was now the official currency of Sweden.
To add further insult, the scammers changed the name of the Twitter account from Socialdemokraterna to ‘Bitcoin Democrats’, adding a BTC symbol to the official party logo. This has been described by commentators as a clear attempt at ‘pumping’, with pro-BTC tweets advising the account’s 84,000 followers to buy BTC.
Fortunately, the attempt looks to have been unsuccessful, with BTC trading sideways for the duration of the hack.
Amongst the BTC tweets were a number of strong anti-immigrant messages, as well as a tweet declaring cannabis to be legal in Sweden. Another tweet said the country’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has resigned to join the armed forces.
The social media account (@socialdemokrat) of Sweden's ruling Social Democrats has clearly been hacked, with someone positing tweets about, for example, rapes and rising taxes. Been going on for 30 mins. pic.twitter.com/Ay3qgz6Kb5
— Christian Christensen (@ChrChristensen) April 15, 2019
The account is now back in the control of the Social Democrats, and the tweets have since been removed.
Police in Sweden are investigating the hack, and have said as yet the motive remains unclear. While there seems to have been little financial incentive, the aim appears to have been to cause embarrassment to the government, as well as igniting debate in Sweden.
The attack is the latest example of crypto hackers hijacking high profile accounts to push pro-BTC propaganda.
In 2018, hackers commandeered Google’s G Suite twitter account, publishing details of a crypto giveaway scam to the account’s over 800,000 followers. The scam asked users to send BTC, with the false promise of 10x the amount back after they had ‘verified’ their BTC addresses.
Major retailer Target and publishing company Pantheon Books were also high profile victims, including a hack that changed the account name of Pantheon Books’ twitter account to Elon Musk—a favorite amongst hackers.
The news is a reminder of the need for tight security and vigilance amongst a rising tide of crypto hacking and scamming activity.
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