Artist Bansky warned about website exploitation a week before fraudulent NFT sale

Last week, a link on the infamous graffiti artist Banksy’s website announced a piece of art as the creator’s first NFT (non-fungible token).

The NFT auction debacle

A British collector won the auction for $ 366,000 to purchase the limited NFT art, before realizing it was a fake. A crucial measure of an art TVN is that the piece includes a unique digital “tokenized” certificate of ownership that can be bought and sold.

The page offering the NFT, Banksy.co.uk/NFT, was removed right after the auction with a statement from the Banksy team that read: “Banksy NFT auctions are not affiliated with the artist in any way. “.

The British collector, who goes by the online pseudonym @Pranksy, won the auction after bidding 90% more than rival bidders. Pranksy is a Banksy fan and avid NFT collector.

Pranksy expressed frustration and “burnt out” after being caught for over $ 300,000 in crypto. They were quickly relieved that the con artist oddly returned most of the amount to them at the end of the day. Pranksy believed that media coverage could lead the public to determine the identity of the scammer, and that’s what prompted them to pay it back. However, at the end of the day, Pransky claims to be still down $ 5,000 because the transaction fees have not been refunded.

Despite the scam, Pranksy expressed his gratitude: “I feel very lucky when many others in a similar situation with less range would not have had the same result.”

The Banksy team then made a statement saying that “Artist Banksy did not create any NFT artwork”. But that still left questions about how the site had been compromised.

Warnings are ignored

A cybersecurity expert had apparently warned Banksy’s team that the website was flawed and could be exploited. However, the warning was ignored. According to Sam Curry, founder of security consultancy Palisade and hacker, he mentioned for the first time that he discovered the vulnerabilities of Banksy’s site on the social media platform Discord last month.

“I was in a security forum and several people were posting links to the site. I clicked on one and immediately saw that it was vulnerable, ”Curry explained. He contacted Banksy’s team by email – an attempt that was reportedly ignored.

Curry continued to try to join Banksy’s team on alternative platforms, including Instagram. However, his efforts ended in stalemate and he never received a response. Prior to Curry’s disclosure, the first report was initially made via email on August 25.

Curry added that the website’s flaws have since been corrected. The vulnerability allowed a stranger to create arbitrary files on the website where they could post third-party pages and content.

Another Banksy shot?

Some opinions have given rise to speculation that the incident may be just another Banksy stunt.

Bournemouth University of the Arts Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Gough says timing, art style and set-up don’t match,

“I don’t see it as a Banksy joke. The timing for me does not work well, the context does not seem appropriate to me. He just did his “Spraycation” stunt where he bombed 10 sites in East Anglia and posted a video on social media about it. “

Gough also added that the fake artwork itself derives from Banksy’s iconic style.

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