Twitter Hack: Chainalysis and CipherTrace Confirm FBI Investigation


The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) is looking into Wednesday’s massive Twitter hack, which saw dozens of accounts belonging to prominent figures and crypto exchanges compromised to shill a sketchy crypto scam.

The takeover saw some $120,000 in bitcoin flow through the address in question, though it remains unclear if that is the total figure sent by victims or if the perpetrator(s) laundered funds through the address themselves. What is clear is that Twitter suffered an unprecedented security breach, one which impacted a former U.S. president, multiple billionaires and the foremost crypto news organization. 

CipherTrace and Chainalysis, two blockchain forensics firms, both confirmed that the FBI had contacted them. Neither firm was able to disclose additional information; Chainalysis said it had “been contacted by several agencies,” while CipherTrace simply said it could only confirm the FBI had reached out.

Elliptic, another firm, told CoinDesk that it does not disclose its law enforcement interactions. Neither the FBI nor the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) returned requests for comment by press time.

U.S. anti-money laundering watchdog Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) warned financial institutions to watch out for Twitter scams in the wake of the hack. 

“FinCEN is working closely with law enforcement agencies to identify the source of these scams and disrupt them,” it said Thursday.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the FBI’s interest in the case.

Chainalysis and Elliptic both told CoinDesk that the stolen funds are already “on the move.” Chainalysis also disclosed that the hackers sloshed their funds between wallets to inflate the scam’s apparent success.


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