THE British Army is investigating after its Twitter and YouTube accounts were reportedly hacked after videos on cryptocurrency and images of billionaire businessman Elon Musk appeared on the YouTube channel. A Twitter spokesperson confirmed the British Army’s account “was compromised and has since been locked and secured.

“The account holders have now regained access and the account is back up and running,” the spokesperson told CNBC via email.

What happened?

The Twitter account’s name was changed to “pssssd,” and its profile and header pictures were changed to a nonfungible token (NFT) collection called “The Possessed”. The hacker deleted all the account’s videos and replaced them with live stream videos of old clips taken from a conversation between Elon Musk and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey on the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

What is a cryptocurrency?

It's a digital currency designed to work as a medium of exchange through a computer network that is not reliant on any central authority, for example, a bank. The first cryptocurrency was Bitcoin, which was founded in 2009 and remains the best known today.

What is Elon Musk’s link with Crypto?

Elon Musk is a big supporter of cryptocurrency. He has previously revealed in his tweets that he owns three cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin. In February 2021, Musk announced that his company, Tesla, had bought Bitcoin worth £1.2 billion. The company also announced that it would begin accepting Bitcoin as a payment method. The news led to an increase in the rise of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. In March, he announced that Tesla would accept Bitcoin as a payment method. In April, Bitcoin reached its all-time high of around £52,000.

What will happen next?

The Army confirmed the breach, saying it took information security "extremely seriously" and was resolving the issue. Both accounts have now been restored.

A spokesperson said: "Whilst we have now resolved the issue an investigation is ongoing and it would be inappropriate to comment further."

Is this a security issue?

Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood, chair of the Commons Defence Select Committee, said what had happened "looks serious".

"I hope the results of the investigation and actions taken will be shared appropriately," he added.

This is not the first time that a high-profile Twitter account has been hacked?

In July 2020, numerous high-profile accounts were taken over by hackers in an apparent Bitcoin scam. Accounts affected included those of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Kanye West.