Metallica Among Latest Celebrities Hit by Crypto Scam Hack

Late on Tuesday, the Twitter account belonging to iconic heavy metal band Metallica became the latest in a string of celebrity social media platforms to fall prey to hackers. This unauthorized access was leveraged to promote a cryptocurrency based on the Solana blockchain, named METAL token, marking a continuation of the recent spate of incidents where celebrities’ digital footprints are manipulated to endorse dubious pump-and-dump schemes.

Remarkably, despite the rapid removal of the promotional tweets – a process that took less than an hour and a half – the METAL token experienced a surge in trading volume, surpassing $10 million before its value plummeted. The campaign deceitfully insinuated a collaboration with ticketing behemoth Ticketmaster and the cryptocurrency transaction service MoonPay, suggesting token holders would benefit from discounts on tickets and merchandise.

This episode unfolded in the wake of similar scams, notably targeting the digital following of prominent figures such as rapper 50 Cent and wrestling icon Hulk Hogan earlier in the month. The pattern underscores a growing concern over the security of celebrity social media accounts and the credibility of cryptocurrency endorsements.

The crypto community, particularly on Twitter, was quick to label the METAL token promotion as fraudulent. MoonPay’s President, Keith Grossman, was amongst the first to denounce the token’s legitimacy publicly, a stance that prompted a rebuttal from the alleged scammers asserting communication with MoonPay via email. In response, MoonPay issued a stark warning regarding the scam, playfully referencing Metallica’s hit “Master of Puppets” to caution potential investors against the scheme.

The hackers behind the operation responded to Grossman’s dismissal by blocking MoonPay’s official account. Nevertheless, their efforts yielded a brief but significant spike in the METAL token’s transaction activity, recording over 30,000 trades and momentarily elevating its price to $0.003 before a dramatic fall to under $0.00007, leaving its market capitalization at a meager $65,000.

This incident not only elicited criticism but also inspired humor among Twitter users, evident in a quip from the account representing LimeWire, a name synonymous with early file-sharing controversies, including a noted dispute with Metallica. This moment of levity underscored the broader narrative of digital vulnerability and questionable cryptocurrency ventures.

The scam targeting Metallica is part of a broader trend of meme coin promotions on the Solana blockchain involving celebrities, a landscape muddied by legitimate endorsements and personal token launches by other public figures. This includes pop artist Jason Derulo, who, in a venture with crypto promoter Sahil Arora, released his JASON token, further blurring the lines between bona fide projects and financial opportunism in the crypto space.

This series of events exemplifies the challenges and peculiarities at the intersection of celebrity culture, cyber security, and the volatile world of cryptocurrency, urging both vigilance and skepticism among internet users and investors alike.