Hackers took over the popular reporter's account in an attempt to trick users into clicking a malicious link to promote giveaways for the Skulltoons NFT project.
Scammers took over ESPN Major League Baseball reporter Jeff Passan's Twitter account to advertise a nonfungible token (NFT) giveaway, which he described as the "biggest news day" of his life.
Passan had just broken word about an important agreement between the two sides about the international proposal. At the same time, the MLB and the Players Association (MLBPA) were locked in a long-winded deadlock over a labor accord that resulted in canceled games.
With all attention on Passan for the next step, his account abruptly began advertising prizes for the Skulltoons NFT project. His identity was also changed to "Jeff. eth," and his profile stated, "NFT Enthusiast, MLB Insider, Father, Husband, Mod for @skulltoonsNFT, @Azukizen, @thugbirdz." His profile picture was also altered to "NFT Enthusiast, MLB Insider, Father, Husband, Mod for @skulltoonsNFT, @Azukizen, @thugbirdz
According to the tweets, Passan had teamed with Skulltoons to offer away 20 presale spots for a future release on March 20 (which have since been deleted and recovered via screenshots). So, to win, users had to click on a suspicious-looking link.
After internet allegations of the attack, the Skulltoons team separated themselves from the hacker's posts and cautioned the community to be aware of frauds:
“Looks like Jeff Passan got hacked by someone trying to scam our community… We are not affiliated with Jeff in any capacity. We hope that he’s able to get his Twitter back ASAP.”
The hack was short-lived, with ESPN apparently restoring Passan's account within two hours. Passan's Twitter backdrop was changed to a white image with the words "I'm back" in allusion to NBA legend Michael Jordan's famous phrase when he came out of retirement to play for the Chicago Bulls for a second time.
Hackers frequently try to take over famous social media profiles in the hopes of fooling followers into assuming they're seeing authentic advertisements from people they like. It has been updated that dozens of YouTube accounts were hijacked in late January to promote cryptocurrency scams. The victims included BitBoy Crypto, Altcoin Buzz, Box Mining, Floyd Mayweather, Ivan on Tech, and The Moon.