British Army Social Media Accounts Hacked

A clever hacker or group of hackers infiltrated and took over the British Army’s social media on Sunday, raising security alarms about the danger of malicious invasion of military software systems.

The hacker altered the official Twitter and YouTube accounts. The army’s Twitter profile was changed to show images of fake non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and to advertise fraudulent crypto schemes. NFTs are unique digital images that include proof of ownership that makes it possible to buy and sell them, even though they are stored completely online with no physical world counterpart.

The army’s YouTube account was manipulated to air livestreams showing clips of presentations given by Elon Musk and also directed viewers to websites promoting cryptocurrency scams.

The still undiscovered hacker changed the British Army’s account name to “pssssd.” The profile pictures were changed to impersonate a collection of NFTs named “The Possessed.” The official Twitter account of the real “The Possessed” collection later warned users of a “new verified SCAM account” that was impersonating its online tokens.

The official government account had been renamed previously on Sunday as “Bapesclan,” which is the name of yet another NFT collection. It was at that time that the hacker began using the account to retweet posts promoting NFT giveaway scams.

At about the same time, the British military’s YouTube account name was changed to “Ark Invest.” That is the name of an investment firm owned by Tesla and giant bitcoin investor Cathie Wood. The hacker deleted all of the official account’s previously posted videos and replaced them with the livestreams of Musk.

The video clips were of Musk talking with Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey about bitcoin in a presentation hosted by Ark Invest last year. The hacker added text captions to the videos pointing users toward scam crypto investing websites.

By Monday, both accounts were back in the control of the government. U.K. national security officials have previously expressed concern about hacking conducted by persons operating on behalf of the Russian government. The military has so far refused to speculate about the identity of last weekend’s hacker.

The British Ministry of Defense posted a tweet on Monday saying the breach had been resolved and an investigation is underway. It added that the “Army takes information security extremely seriously.”