Cryptocurrency firm KuCoin ‘shocked’ by Twitter hacking

11 Aug 2020 11:20 PM
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A leading cryptocurrency exchange has voiced its concerns after hackers took over its Twitter account along with an increase of than 100 others belonging to some of the world’s most influential persons and companies.

KuCoin, which since being founded in 2017 has grown to become among the world’s most popular crypto exchange services with five million users, lost control of its official Twitter account through the cyberattack this week.

For a company that will depend on providing high levels of security to its users, the breach at Twitter was of particular concern.

A spokesman for the business, Jing Cheung, told The National: “We are actually quite shocked at what’s happening at Twitter.”

“As a crypto exchange, security is our priority,” he said.

“We have implemented a lot of security mechanisms to safeguard account security. That’s why it’s hard to assume such a hack can happen to Twitter.”

The cyberattack may be the biggest to have hit Twitter in its history.

Hackers are believed to have accessed Twitter’s internal systems to compromise the accounts of some of the platform's top voices, including US presidential prospect Joe Biden, reality TV star Kim Kardashian, former US president Barack Obama and billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, and use them to solicit digital currency.

The high-profile accounts that were hacked also included rapper Kanye West, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, investor Warren Buffett, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and the organization makes up about Uber and Apple.

In its latest statement, Twitter said the hackers could actually gain control to a "small subset" of the targeted accounts and send tweets from their website.

The FBI is leading an inquiry in to the incident, with several US politicians also calling for a conclusion of how it just happened.

The investigative agency said that cyber attackers committed cryptocurrency fraud in the incident.

Freely available blockchain records show the apparent scammers received a lot more than $100,000 (Dh367,000) worth of cryptocurrency.

KuCoin said it was working closely with Twitter to research the hacking which, it added, was handling the problem “carefully and transparently”.

The company said it had been looking into using a new, decentralised social media channel using the same blockchain technology that protects cryptocurrency transactions proved greater security.