The Twitter and YouTube channels of the British Army were hacked on Sunday by attackers who posted images and other content related to crypto-assets.
The @BritishArmy Twitter account was renamed to “Bapesclan”, with the banner image replaced with an image of a cartoon monkey wearing clown-like face paint, accompanied by the description, “#1 metavesto clan on the ETH chain with multi-billion dollar experience. Powered by @chaintchlabs”.
“Bapesclan” is a group involved in selling ape-themed non-fungible tokens (NFTs), a form of digital asset often linked to artworks, and uses the clown-monkey image in its branding. There was no suggestion that Bapesclan was involved in the hack.
The Twitter account also hosted what appeared to be retweets of posts related to NFTs, which reportedly remained online as late as 8:30 p.m., after the account had been partially restored.
The Army’s YouTube channel was reportedly renamed Ark Invest and was rebranded with the Ark Invest logo. It appeared to be promoting a supposed interview with Tesla chief executive Elon Musk about cryptocurrency.
There is no suggestion that Ark Invest, a global investment firm, was complicit in the hack.
It remains unknown who was behind the attacks.
“We are aware of a breach of the Army’s Twitter and YouTube accounts and an investigation is under way,” the Army said in a statement.
“We take information security extremely seriously and are resolving the issue.”
A message posted on the official Twitter account said, “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.”
During the hack Conservative MP Michael Fabricant tweeted, “How embarrassing. @BritishArmy Twitter account has been hacked. Not by the #Russians I don’t think!”
Tobias Ellwood, the conservative MP who is chair of the Commons defence select committee, said on Twitter the hack “looks serious”.
“I hope the results of the investigation and actions taken will be shared appropriately,” he wrote.
In July 2020 the accounts of a number of high-profile Twitter users were taken over in an apparent effort to promote a Bitcoin scam.
The accounts included those of Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Kanye West.
A teenager from Florida was later sentenced to three years in prison for the hack.
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