Twitter account of NHS chief transformation officer Helen Bevan taken over by hackers, used to advertise PlayStation 5 scam to her 97,000 followers
Two Twitter accounts belonging to a NHS executive have been hacked by scammers, with one of the accounts used to advertise a PlayStation 5 scam to her nearly 100,000 followers.
NHS chief transformation officer Helen Bevan told the BBC her account was in the hands of hackers for two days, during which the account received dozens of direct messages from people who fell for the scam.
Bevan said she also paid a third party to help with the situation, who also turned out to be a scammer.
She said she eventually decided to go public with the incident in order to convince people of the importance of extra security measures, such as two-factor authentication.
“I was anxious about going public about what happened to me when I was hacked because I didn’t necessarily make the best decisions,” she wrote on Twitter.
She advised users to activate two-factor authentication and to avoid third-party recovery services in the event of a hack.
“Go through Twitter to get your account back,” she wrote.
Bevan said she mistakenly thought she had acvitaved two-factor authentication on her professional Twitter account, which turned out not to be the case.
Once the hackers had cracked her password, they were therefore able to simply change her contact details.
They then rebranded her account to “SupplierPS5” and used it to hawk PlayStation 5 consoles to her 97,000 followers.
The consoles are in short supply due to the worldwide semiconductor shortage, and sell for hundreds of pounds.
Bevan was leading a public event for thousands of people at the time, and felt under pressure to quickly restore her account, she said.
As a result she paid £110 to someone who contacted her offering a quick fix to the problem.
This turned out to be an additional scam, and Twitter finally restored Bevan’s account to her two days later, she said.
Upon regaining control of the account she found “dozens” of direct messages from people asking about PlayStation 5 orders.
She has no way of knowing how many paid the fraudsters, who were advertising the consoles at around $450 (£320).
‘Rolf the Campus Cat’
In an apparently separate incident, an account belonging to Bevan’s cat, Rolf, a was also hacked and used to send messages about Bitcoin to the account’s 36,000 followers.
Rolf is a local celebrity in Coventry, being known as “Rolf the Campus Cat” due to his frequent appearances at the University of Warwick campus, located near Bevan’s home.
In this case, the hackers were apparently looking to negatively influence the public’s perception of Bitcoin, Bevan said.
The hack of Rolf’s account was resolved relatively quickly, with Twitter restoring access later in the same day, she said, according to a local media report.