British Army Twitter and YouTube accounts hacked to promote crypto scam

Screenshot of a British Army Twitter profile when it was hacked using the Wayback Machine. His profile and banner images have been changed to resemble a non-fungible collection of tokens called “Imps”.

A hacker hacked British Army social media accounts to push people into a cryptocurrency scam.

armies Twitter as well as YouTube the profiles were hijacked by a hacker or hackers, whose identity is not yet known, on Sunday. The Twitter account name was changed to “pssssd” and its profile and banner images were changed to resemble a non-fungible collection of tokens called “The Possessed”.

The Possessed’s official Twitter account alerted users to a “new verified SCAM account” posing as a collection of NFTs, tokens representing ownership of pieces of online content.

Earlier Sunday, the account was renamed “Bapesclan” – the name of another NFT collection – and its banner image was changed to a cartoon monkey in clown makeup. The hacker also started retweeting messages promoting NFT giveaway schemes.

Bapesklan did not immediately respond to CNBC’s direct message on Twitter.

Meanwhile, the name of the British military’s YouTube account has been changed to “Ark Invest”, an investment firm Tesla as well as bitcoin bull Cathy Wood.

The hacker deleted all of the account’s videos and replaced them with live streams of old clips taken from a conversation with Elon Musk and co-founder of Twitter Jack Dorsey on bitcoin hosted by Ark in July 2021. Text has been added to live streams directing users to cryptocurrency scam websites.

Both accounts were returned to their rightful owner.

“The hacking of army Twitter and YouTube accounts that occurred earlier today has been resolved and an investigation is underway,” the UK Department of Defense wrote on Monday.

“The Army takes information security very seriously and until their investigation is complete, no further comment is appropriate.”

A Twitter spokesperson confirmed that the British Army account “was compromised and has since been blocked and protected.”

“The account holders have now regained access and the account is working again,” a spokesperson for CNBC said via email.

A YouTube representative was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.

Tobias Ellwood, the British Conservative MP who chairs the Defense Committee in Parliament, said the breach “looks serious”.

“I hope that the results of the investigation and the actions taken will be properly made public.”

This is not the first time that hackers have used a high profile social media account to promote a crypto scam. In 2020, the Twitter accounts of Musk, President Joe Biden and many others were captured to scam their bitcoin followers.

Laura Kolodny of CNBC contributed to this report.