NFT hacks and their victims

Social media accounts hacks and dreams destroyed

A simple fact that has been going on in the web3 space is that the bigger a project is the more likely it is that the  social media account of the creator is going to be attacked and compromised.

The consequences for these hacks can be serious with collectors falling victim to the plots of the scammers and losing money, collectively in the millions after being duped into connecting their digital wallets to a scam wallet. 

There is a discussion lately about what creators should do if their community members fall victim to such tactics. There have been some cases where the community has been reimbursed by the creator by repaying the market value of the collectibles lost.

There is also rising sentiment that goes against creators reimbursing users that become victims to these scams. Stating that those victims were at fault or being so foolish in the first place and they went against the crypto industry tenets of self-custody, accountability, and performing correct and thorough research.

There are many ideas being tossed around as to what should happen and here is a breakdown of some of those ideas.

There have been recent examples of attacks on popular projects and their creators such as the Ethereum NFT project Nouns which was compromised this past June 27.  A total of 42 ETH worth of NFTs were stolen from 25 users that clicked on a link shared by hackers.

Another attack was levied upon Pseudonymous NFT collector and trader Zeneca whose Twitter account was compromised.Popular 2D animation artist DeeKay was also hacked recently and went to Twitter to explain the situation.

There have been many hacks to many communities with one of the biggest shocks being the hacking of Bored Ape Yacht Club which saw an estimated $2.8 million stolen.

There are many other ways for hackers to dupe unsuspecting community members, another way would be using Discord. Fractal, a Solana gaming marketplace, was also the victim of such an attack last December but the company compensated users in the amount of $150,000 worth of SOL distributed among the victims. The ETH game Phantom Galaxies was hacked and Animoca Brands stated they would reimburse the users at the value of $1.1 million in ETH.

Some of the creators may have reimbursed the victims but state they would never do it again . Some of the creators have stated they would reimburse the victims but have yet to even do so. 

Pseudonymous Nouns co-creator 4156 dropped a postmortem account after the hack and stated the deficiencies he noticed in security. He stated that his reimbursement was a one-time deal and that there probably wouldn’t be another one like it. 

Other creators such as DeeKay still want to do what they believe is right however. 4156 made it a point to put the blame on the victim instead of the developer stating : While it sucks to say that people shouldn’t be reimbursed for being tricked via your account , these users are engaging in zero-due-diligence activities in an attempt to make fast money and are ultimately the ones signing messages that authorize the withdrawals from their wallets”

The thread against reimbursement posted by 4156 was quite long and detailed, calling most users seeking compensation “extremely unsophisticated crypto users” , he also felt that “reimbursement was a short-term PR band-aid.”

Conversely Premint took a more responsible route as the founder Brenden Mulligan stated his reason for project reimbursement was due to the fact that it happened on his own site and not social media.”There is still an argument to be made taht people should have been more careful, but in these cases, I think compensation is an option to consider.”

This does not translate into Mulligan believing all heists require compensation to the victims. He does not believe in paying victims of social media scams stating that 99% of scams are because people aren’t paying attention and just trying to jump into a project. As the conversation continued even DeeKay seems to have changed his tune on the situation.

As the debate rolls on it would seem that expectation for reimbursement should be minimal at best as most developers feel that reimbursement is not the answer and the idea is unsustainable. 

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