Major Twitter accounts hacked Update: Late Wednesday night, Twitter revealed what it knows about a hack that victimized dozens of high-ranking accounts on its service – and that’s not much else.
Dozens of high-profile Twitter accounts appear to have been hacked in a massive bitcoin scam Wednesday afternoon, with each account sending out messages offering everyone thousands of dollars worth of cryptocurrency. More than an hour later, the social network disabled tweets from verified accounts to stop the message from spreading.
Victims of the hack included former President Barack Obama, presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, artist Kanye West and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Tech companies such as Apple and Uber have also posted fraudulent messages.
Each hacked account tweeted that it would double the payments sent to its BTC addresses in the next half hour. The tweets have since been deleted from most accounts. Apparently, the scam was at least somewhat successful – according to Blockchain.com, more than $100,000 was sent to the bitcoin wallet listed in the messages.
“We are aware of a security incident affecting Twitter accounts,” Twitter wrote on its support page. “We are investigating and taking steps to address it. We will let everyone know soon.”
We are aware of a security incident impacting accounts on Twitter. We are investigating and taking steps to fix it. We will update everyone shortly.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 15, 2020
Major accounts began posting fraudulent messages on Twitter at about 1:45 p.m. PT. It appeared that Twitter was struggling to control the fraud, and Musk’s account sent it out again just before 3 p.m. PT. Just after 3 p.m. PT, Twitter shut down the tweet for all verified accounts.
A Twitter spokesman told Digital Trends that the company was looking into the problem, but could not provide additional details.
The attack was probably the loudest and most successful hack in Twitter’s history. The widespread presence of fraudulent messages makes it likely that Twitter itself, rather than individual accounts, was hacked. Cameron Winklevoss, co-founder of the cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, said that his Twitter account had a strong password and two-factor authentication, but was still hacked.
A spokesman for Bill Gates confirmed to Recode’s Teddy Schleifer that the hack was a Twitter-wide problem.
“We can confirm that this tweet was not sent by Bill Gates,” the rep said. “It appears to be part of a larger problem Twitter is facing. Twitter is aware and is working to restore the account.”
Which accounts were hacked as part of the Bitcoin Twitter scam?
- Joe Biden
- Elon Musk.
- Bill Gates
- Kanye West
- Michael Bloomberg
- Jeff Bezos
- Wiz Khalifa