British Army Twitter And YouTube Accounts Hacked To Promote NFT Scams

Mason Joseph Zimmer
British Army reservist smiling in uniform in front of Union Jack flag
Facebook | British Army

The British Army's Twitter and YouTube accounts were hacked by unknown actors in an apparent attempt to push NFT and crypto scams.

Starting last year, NFTs or non-fungible tokens had a sudden and meteoric rise to prominence after a piece of digital artwork made to promote the concept sold at auction for $69 million.

But while that headline quickly prompted many to declare NFTs the future of digital artwork, that excitement was soon followed by confusion as to what people actually own when they purchase an NFT. Before long, that confusion gave way to ethical concerns about how easy the craze was to exploit.

And as anyone with experience in the world of cryptocurrency can likely attest, it's no less prone to scams and fly-by-night operations that pull the rug out from investors than any other financial sphere.

And it seems that at least one of those scammers recently became very ambitious, if nothing else.

Shortly after noon on June 3, Twitter users noticed that the official Twitter account of the British Army had been hacked.

landing page of the British Army's Twitter account after hacking by NFT scammers
twitter | @Osinttechnical

Indeed, that was the most logical explanation after everything about the account was changed to promote the NFTs and other cryptocurrency-based activities of a group called the Bapes Clan.

One user following the sudden change also chronicled an alarming tweet that saw the hackers declare that the British Army was about to attack Pakistan.

Fortunately, the hackers had already made it obvious that the account had been compromised by then, so no government took this as a genuine declaration of war.

Curiously, it took less than a half hour for whoever was behind this to pose as an entirely different NFT group known as The Possessed.

landing page of British Army Twitter account after being hacked by NFT scammers
twitter | @web3isgreat

And as we can see in this capture taken by crypto watchdog "web3 is going great," this second incarnation was more directly trying to sell NFTs.

Considering that they had hijacked the British Army's Twitter account to do so, it's hard to imagine any genuine benefit to giving them money.

The watchdog account also noted that while this was going on, the British Army's YouTube account had also been compromised.

British Army's YouTube page after being hacked to look like Ark Invest's YouTube page and promoting cryptocurrency scams using pictures of Elon Musk
twitter | @web3isgreat

This time, however, the hackers gutted the account to make it look like it belonged to global investment firm Ark Invest. According to The Verge, they then uploaded the firm's year-old livestreams featuring Elon Musk and former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

The only difference was that their videos featured an overlay that encouraged viewers to participate in a different crypto scam.

As The Guardian reported, the double hack prompted a Conservative British politician named Michael Fabricant to tweet, "How embarrassing. @BritishArmy Twitter account has been hacked. Not by the #Russians I don’t think!”

Indeed, it does remain unknown who was responsible for the hack but the actual British Army was able to regain control of their account before the day was out.

British Army reservist smiling in uniform in front of Union Jack flag
Facebook | British Army

By 4:09 pm, a tweet came from the account that read, "Apologies for the temporary interruption to our feed. We will conduct a full investigation and learn from this incident. Thanks for following us and normal service will now resume."

By that evening, The Guardian had reported that the retweets the hackers had made about NFTs were still in place. However, they have since been removed by the time of this writing and both accounts now look like they did before the hack took place.

h/t: The Guardian