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The chief technology officer of OpenAI appeared to have her Twitter account hacked on Thursday evening to promote a fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme.
Mira Murati, who has worked at OpenAI for more than five years helping to build advanced AI software, lost control of her Twitter account around 6:03 p.m. Pacific Time, according to timestamps on the tweets. Her account began promoting a new cryptocurrency called “$OPENAI” that was supposedly “driven by artificial intelligence-based language models.”
The unauthorized tweets encouraged Ms. Murati’s followers to send money to an Ethereum digital wallet address to receive free “airdropped” coins as part of a new initial coin offering. The tweets were then quickly deleted, only to reappear minutes later with slightly altered wording. The tweets were live on Murati’s account for more than 45 minutes. Murati’s account has since been updated to its original state and the tweets have been deleted.
The incident highlights the risks of high-profile Twitter accounts being targeted by scammers seeking to use their credibility and wide followings to bilk money from people under false pretenses.
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The apparent hacking of Murati’s account comes just four months after Twitter announced changes to its two-factor authentication policies that eliminated SMS text messaging as an option for account security, unless users pay for the Twitter Blue premium subscription service. Security experts have warned that the changes could make high-profile accounts more vulnerable to takeovers.
Ms. Murati’s Twitter account does show a blue checkmark on her profile, indicating that she is subscribed to Twitter Blue and would have retained access to SMS two-factor authentication. VentureBeat has reached out to OpenAI for comment and will update this story if and when we hear back.
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