On Thursday, OpenAI CTO Mira Murati’s Twitter account was hacked and used to promote a fraudulent crypto token, supposedly backed by the company. The tweet remained online for an hour, gaining 80,000 views before being taken down. The hacker promoted an ‘OPENAI’ token, described as a “groundbreaking token driven by artificial intelligence-based language models.”
The tweet provided a link to a phishing website that appeared identical to an actual project called ChainGPT – an AI chatbot for crypto and blockchain information. However, the fake site included a prompt for visitors to connect their crypto wallet. Reports suggest that the site lured investors into transaction signing requests, with which the hacker could transfer NFTs and ERC-20 tokens from the victim’s wallet.
According to Scam Sniffer, the hack was carried out by a repeat offender in the art of phishing scams called “Pink Drainer.” The scammer netted $110,000 from this particular hack, and has already drained $1.8 million from over 500 victims since May 30.
The Prevalence of Phishing Scams
Crypto Twitter is notorious for phishing scams perpetrated using spam bots, which frequently clog reply sections for notable industry influencers. Many such scams work by impersonating high-profile personalities. One of the most famous scams occurred in July 2020, when over 130 prominent accounts including Elon Musk, Joe Biden, Barrack Obama, and others were hacked, inviting users to send BTC to a certain address, and promising a 2:1 return.
Social media scams of the like have worked before: A fake Michael Saylor phishing scam netted the perpetrator over $1.1 million from a victim in January 2022, on-chain data showed.
Despite efforts to report and take down these scams, scammers continue to find ways to perpetrate them, causing harm to unsuspecting victims. It is important for individuals to exercise caution when interacting with these promotions and to verify the authenticity of the accounts and projects before investing.