Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Barack Obama's twitter accounts hacked in Bitcoin scam

The unidentified hackers broke into these verified twitter accounts and posted fake tweets that offered $2,000 for every $1,000 sent to an anonymous Bitcoin address. 

Jul 16, 2020 14:14 IST
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The Twitter accounts of some of the world's top business magnates, politicians and celebrities were hacked in an alleged Bitcoin scam. Some of the accounts include those of former US President Barack Obama, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Democratic US Presidential nominee Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg, Apple and Celebrities Kim Kardashian and Kayne West. 

The unidentified hackers broke into these verified twitter accounts and posted fake tweets that offered $2,000 for every $1,000 sent to an anonymous Bitcoin address. The tweets were taken down immediately after the account owners informed that they were not posted by them. Twitter Support tweeted saying that they are aware of the security incident and they are investigating the matter and are taking steps to fix it. 

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey also tweeted saying that is a tough day for all at Twitter and they feel terrible this happened. Dorsey assured that twitter is diagnosing the problem and will share everything when they have a more complete understanding of exactly what happened. 

Twitter Accounts Hacked: Key Highlights

• At first, the twitter accounts of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Tesla CEO Elon Musk appeared to have been hacked. 

• However, later such fake tweets were detected in other verified accounts as well, with most account owners confirming that they had not posted any such tweet, 

• The hackers had posted tweets that promised to send back double the amount of Bitcoin if the user sends a particular amount to the mentioned Bitcoin account. One such posted on Elon Musk's Twitter page read, "I’m doubling all BTC payments sent to my address. You send $1,000 and I will send #$2,000 back!"

• The hackers had designed the tweets in a way to lure the twitter followers of the business tycoons, world leaders and celebrities to send the money to the anonymous Bitcoin account.

• There is no evidence that the hackers were attempting to target the account owners. The mentioned Bitcoin account appears to have been created on July 15.

• Twitter's integrity team locked down the Bitcoin account within a few minutes of the breach and removed the related tweets.

• However, the account had received almost 12.9 bitcoins by the end of July 15, which amounts to slightly more than $114,000 and roughly half that sum in bitcoin was withdrawn from the account during the day.

Twitter's Response

Twitter took cognisance of the matter and immediately locked down the affected accounts and removed the fake tweets. Twitter Support described the attack as a coordinated social engineering attack by people who successfully targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools.

Twitter stated that they are aware that they used this access to take control of many highly-visible and verified accounts and tweeted on their behalf. Twitter is currently looking into other malicious activities that they may have or data they may have accessed.

Key steps taken by Twitter to resolve the issue:

-Twitter shared that they have taken significant steps to limit access to internal systems and tools while their investigation is ongoing.

-Twitter has locked the compromised accounts and will restore access to the original account owner only when it is certain that it is secure for use.

-Twitter has also limited functionality for a much larger group of accounts, like all verified accounts including those that show no evidence of being compromised while the investigation is ongoing.

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