While NFTs have proven to be a haven for digital artists over the years, few have found quite as much success as the artist Beeple. Not only does he hold the record for the most expensive NFT of all time with his work Everydays: the First 5000 Days but he has also scored coveted collaborations with celebrities like Madonna for her NFT debut.
With this much success and hypervisibility, it comes as no surprise that the artist has been targeted by criminals. Just recently, his official Twitter handle fell victim to scammers running a phishing scheme.
You’ve Been Phished
On May 22, 2022, it was reported on Twitter and then confirmed by the artist himself that the official Beeple Twitter handle had been hacked. Following this hack, the handle had tweeted out a link claiming that it was part of a ‘raffle’ with the brand Louis Vuitton.
Beeple has collaborated with the brand before but this link was not legitimately connected to any raffle. Instead, once the link was clicked, all the Ethereum in a user’s wallet would be stolen. Unfortunately, it seems this scheme was quite successful.
According to Harry Denley, a security expert at MetaMask, at least $50,000 worth of Ether had already been stolen from users before the account was restored. Shortly after Beeple regained access to his account, he took to warning users not to believe such messages.
“ugh we’ll that was fun way to wake up. Twitter was hacked but we have control now. Huge thanks to @garyvee ‘a team for quick help!!!!,” he said, adding that if an NFT deal seemed too good to be true, it probably was. Beepled also mentioned that there would never be a situation in which he announced a surprise mint only once and only on one of his social media pages.
This, unfortunately, is only one in a long list of phishing attacks that have targeted the NFT space. There have been phishing emails that have stolen millions in NFTs directly from their owners, such as with the actor Seth Green. Then there have been instances of official platforms of marketplaces and collections being compromised.
For example, both OpenSea and the Bored Ape Yacht Club have suffered hacks this year and millions in NFTs have been stolen as a result. As this recent incident with Beeple shows, it is an ongoing problem within the industry.
One peculiar thing about Beeple’s response following the hack was saying that he would never announce a surprise mint under such conditions. In many phishing attacks, users are told to click a link for s surprise raffle, free minting, and so on.
It now seems that a clear pattern is being developed of what a phishing scheme looks like for the NFT sector. The good news is that over time, users might be able to have a clear idea of what to avoid. Hopefully, the next time an account suddenly posts a link for a ‘free mint’ users will flag it as a scam immediately.