News

An online prank worth $336,000 – Digital security comes under scrutiny

September 15, 2021

An online prank worth $336,000 – Digital security comes under scrutiny

A one-off online scam recently made the headlines in the broader world of non-fungible tokens or NFTs when a digital art collector ended up getting pranked to the sum of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

A one-off online scam recently made the headlines in the broader world of non-fungible tokens or NFTs when a digital art collector ended up getting pranked to the sum of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The collector, who ironically goes by the name ‘Pranksy’, splashed the equivalent of  US$336,000 in cryptocurrency on what was thought to be elusive street and political artist Banksy’s first venture into NFTs.

“The fact it was hosted on banksy.co.uk was my reason for bidding,” said the British collector who eventually had his money returned to him by the scammer – barring a £5,000 transaction fee.

To the unknowing, NTFs are electronic identifiers recorded on, the seemingly impregnable, blockchain technology confirming that any given digital art collectible is legitimate.  The multi-billion dollar market recorded US$2.5 billion in sales so far this year, up from just US$13.7 million in the first half of 2020.

Following the incident, Banksy’s team were quick to explain that the artist “has not created any NFT artworks” but stayed away from the subject of how the website’s security was breached.

Sam Curry, a US-based cybersecurity expert had previously tried to inform Banksy’s team about the flaw in their website’s digital security but it is unclear if they took notice of the warning.

Prof Paul Gough, who has been studying Banksy’s art, squashed rumours of the incident being one of the artist’s ‘stunts’ stating that the timing, art style and set-up did not add up.

Possibly speaking for other NFT traders, Pranksy says “I’ve not lost faith in NFTs after the incident. I’ll just get a little less excited when I see one linked via an artist’s website.”

Regardless of the commentary on this episode, a key takeaway from it would be the constant and evolving threat to digital property and the need for adaptive digital security no matter who you are or what you do.

Sources:

 


General Advice Warning

Any advice provided by Reach Markets including on its website and by its representatives is general advice only and does not consider your objectives, financial situation or needs, and you should consider whether it is appropriate for you. This might mean that you need to seek personal advice from a representative authorised to provide personal advice. If you are thinking about acquiring a financial product, you should consider our Financial Services Guide (FSG) including the Privacy Statement and any relevant Product Disclosure Statement or Prospectus (if one is available) to understand the features, risks and returns associated with the investment.

Please click here to read our full warning.

Weekly Trading Sessions

Covering a market update, picking a direction and trade tips for the week

Leave a comment