The official Twitter accounts of several high-profile users—including Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Joe Biden—were all briefly hacked today to promote a Bitcoin scam.
Late this afternoon, Twitter accounts belonging to several cryptocurrency platforms—including Coinbase, Gemini, and Binance—were briefly taken over to encourage users to donate Bitcoin to a digital wallet.
The mysterious culprits then took over the accounts of numerous celebrities, including Barack Obama, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and Kanye West, to further promote the scam. “I am giving back to my community due to Covid-19! All Bitcoin sent to my address below will be sent back doubled. If you send $1,000, I will send back $2,000!” the tweets read.
(Images: Twitter screenshots)
Accounts belonging to Apple and Uber were also hijacked to encourage users to donate to the same digital wallet, which has received dozens of transactions since the scam began. In total, the wallet has accumulated over 12 bitcoin or $110,690.
In response, Twitter tweeted at 5:45 p.m. ET: “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.”
In the meantime, the widespread hacking is raising speculation that a login system at Twitter or a third-party provider contains a vulnerability, which the mysterious culprits are exploiting. The attackers appear to be going back to certain accounts to post the message again; it’s appeared on Elon Musk’s feed multiple times, for example.
Tyler Winklevoss, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, said the hackers were able to breach its Twitter account, despite having the two-factor authentication enabled.