Apparently, Our Theory About The Fake Banksy NFT Was Incorrect. Here’s New Info

A couple of weeks ago, a hacker with a heart of gold sold a fake Banksy NFT for 100 ETH and then gave the money back. They advertised the auction through Banksy’s official site. If the NFT was fake, someone hacked that site. Which seemed unlikely. Also, there is the issue of the alias that the scammed NFT collector uses. Pranksy, a play on words referencing the elusive graffiti artist Banksy mixed with the word “prank.” Which is what this whole situation is. 

Too many coincidences. Suspicious, we posed our theory:

“Was Pranksy targeted by Banksy and his team? If Banksy wanted to create worldwide headlines and comment on the NFT boom at the same time, a notorious art collector was the missing ingredient. Pransky’s prominence in the NFT community mixed with his name makes him an ideal target.”

It seemed to fit, but the case of the fake Banksy NFT never ceases to amaze. 

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Security Experts Warned Banksy About His Website’s Vulnerability

Luckily for us, the BBC is on the case. They interviewed Sam Curry, “a professional ethical hacker from the US and founder of security consultancy Palisade.” There seem to be too many “ethical hackers” in this story, but ok… Curry told them:

“I was in a security forum and multiple people were posting links to the site. I’d clicked one and immediately saw it was vulnerable, so I reached out to Banksy’s team via email as I wasn’t sure if anyone else had.

“They didn’t respond over email, so I tried a few other ways to contact them including their Instagram, but never received a response.”

These things happen. How many emails does Banksy’s team get? Did it pass their spam folder? Can we be sure they read it on time? The suspicious thing, though, is Mr. Curry’s description of the site’s vulnerability. It:

 “allowed you to create arbitrary files on the website” and post your own pages and content.

So, the flaw permitted the hackers to do exactly what they needed to do to advertise the fake Banksy NFT auction and not much more, huh? Interesting.

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Banksy Isn’t Responsible For The Fake Banksy NFT, Experts Say

Neither the artist’s official website nor the Pest Control website, even acknowledge the fake Banksy NFT. Something doesn’t feel right, though. The BBC felt our uneasiness and tried to put our concerns to rest. They consulted two Banksy experts and they both thought that the shoe didn’t fit. According to them, the elusive graffiti artist is not the mastermind behind the whole event. This is not a “Banksy stunt.” Professor Paul Gough, “principal and vice-chancellor of Arts University Bournemouth,” goes first:

“I don’t see it as a Banksy prank. The timing for me doesn’t work right, the context doesn’t feel appropriate. He’s just done his ‘Spraycation’ stunt where he bombed 10 sites in East Anglia, and put out a video on social media about it.

“That is a pretty major stunt and takes a lot of organising by a very professional crew, so I just don’t think the timings right here so soon after that.”

Here’s the Spraycation video, dated August 13th, 2021:

[embedded content]

It does seem like a “major stunt.” Does that mean that the fake Banksy NFT operation is out of the question? Or did Banksy went to work immediately after finishing his spraycation? Did the elusive graffiti artist strike again in the digital realm?

Second at bat is John Brandler, a Banksy collector, who provides another reason:

 “Banksy’s stunts are not malicious and they don’t hurt people.”

Good point, but let’s be honest, the incident didn’t really hurt Pranksy. The NFT collector got his ETH back,  was the subject of worldwide headlines, and still got to keep the fake Banksy NFT. It may be worth something, someday. 

Is this the last we’re going to hear about the fake Banksy NFT?

Featured Image: Screenshot of the fake Banksy NFT | Charts by TradingView


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Immunefi partners with Binance Smart Chain on bug bounties to secure BSC projects

Immunefi, a security service outfit that specialized in decentralized finance (DeFi) projects, has inked a collaboration with crypto exchange giant Binance.

According to a release issued on Friday, Immunefi will work in collaboration with Binance to improve the security of projects on the Binance chain. As part of the partnership, Binance will match bug bounty payments issued by Immunefi to white hat hackers who discover vulnerabilities in BSC-based protocols.

As a security outfit, Immunefi has reportedly paid more than $3 million in bug bounties to ethical hackers. Major BSC protocols such as PancakeSwap, DODO, and Zapper among others are already deploying the company’s bug bounty program to uncover vulnerabilities in their code.

Detailing the typical payment process for bug bounties, Mitchell Amador, CEO of Immunefi told Cointelegraph: “Yes, bounties are paid in crypto. Payment in USDC and USDT is common, but many projects also pay bounties in their own token,” adding:

“The value of the bounty is typically pegged to USD and the conversion rate computed at the time the bounty is paid. Payment in native tokens is a major new standard in crypto, since it lets the size of bug bounties scale with the value of a project’s token.”

For Amador DeFi requires proactive security measures are necessary to ensure that DeFi becomes the future of finance.

According to the company, incentivizing smart contract code auditing via bug bounties improves the security of the crypto space beyond the usual code verification and auditing protocols.

The news likely marks a significant investment by Binance towards improving quality assurance on the BSC. Back in May, the company brought in blockchain forensics firm CipherTrace to track high-risk fund transfers on the network.

Related: Growing pains? DeFi exploits plunder BSC, which calls for reinforcements

BSC’s emergence as a major DeFi hub at the start of the year also brought with it several security challenges as the hacks and exploits that were common in the Ethereum space also began happening on the Binance chain.

Back in April, Cointelegraph reported that flash loan attacks, as well as other DeFi hacks and exploits, had totaled $285 million since 2019. Since April, these incidents have only increased with PancakeBunny suffered a massive flash loan attack that saw its native token price plummet 90%.