Twitter Accounts Of Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos hacked in bitcoin scam
The last 12 hours on Twitter have been erratic as a massive hack on multiple high-profile personalities and celebrities' accounts was carried out in what has been described to be "a coordinated social engineering attack". The users whose Twitter accounts were hacked and posted tweets by scammers include ex-US President Barack Obama, former US Vice President Joe Biden, Microsoft's Bill Gates, Tesla's Elon Musk, investor Warren Buffet, Amazon's Jeff Bezos, musician Kanye West, and both Uber and Apple.
Responding to the attack this morning, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said it was a "tough day for us at Twitter". He tweeted, "We all feel terrible this happened. We're diagnosing and will share everything we can when we have a more complete understanding of exactly what happened,".
Tough day for us at Twitter. We all feel terrible this happened.
We’re diagnosing and will share everything we can when we have a more complete understanding of exactly what happened.
💙 to our teammates working hard to make this right.— jack (@jack) July 16, 2020
In what has not often been done by the micro-blogging social networking giant, Twitter disabled the posting of tweets for around two hours from the above-mentioned validated accounts after it was revealed that scammers had accessed them. Scammers had targeted and hijacked the accounts of the users to con people into transferring cryptocurrency bitcoin.
One of the first accounts to be hacked, scammers had used Tesla's Elon Musk's Twitter to tweet, "Feeling grateful, doubling all payments sent to my BTC address! You send $1,000, I send back $2,000! Only doing this for the next 30 minutes". The tweet, which was sent out to his nearly 37 million followers, was the first of similar posts, and have since been deleted.
Shortly after, Gemini cryptocurrency exchange co-founder Cameron Winklevoss issued a warning to followers on Twitter tweeting, "This is a SCAM, DO NOT participate!".
Twitter, later, in a series of posts, said the accounts that were hacked for the scam "should be able to tweet again". One of the posts stated, "We detected what we believe to be a coordinated social engineering attack by people who successfully targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools,".
We’re continuing to limit the ability to Tweet, reset your password, and some other account functionalities while we look into this. Thanks for your patience.— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 15, 2020
It is to be noted that the scammers targeted and hacked several cryptocurrency-focused organizations' accounts as well; each of them said to have tens of millions of users. This is not the first occasion that such a massive co-ordinated scam has been carried out by hacking Twitter.
The Twitter accounts of Amnesty International, the French Economics Ministry and the BBC's North America service were breached in March 2017 by hackers, who reportedly are loyal to the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Twitter CEO too fell prey to hackers last August when a series of demeaning and racist messages were tweeted out on his personal account without his knowledge.