In extremely hectic news, major celebrities and companies have had their Twitter accounts hacked as part of a massive cryptocurrency scam. Presidential hopeful Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Apple, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Kanye West were among those targeted in the scam.
Each tweet boasted an identical message: if you pay into this Bitcoin account, we’ll pay you back double. While most of these tweets were deleted in mere minutes, The Verge claims that followers still managed to transfer over $100,000 into the fraudulent accounts.
Some of our biggest celebrities have been targeted in a major cryptocurrency breach. Although the tweets in question scream “scam” on every line, hackers have still ended up with a nice little $100,000 tip for their efforts.
“I am giving back to my community during COVID-19!” former U.S. President Barack Obama’s fraudulent tweet read. “All Bitcoin sent to my address below will be sent back doubled. If you send $1,000, I will send back $2,000… Only doing this for the next 30 minutes! Enjoy.”
The hackers were thoughtful enough to tweak each celebrity’s post to suit their personality. “I’m feeling generous because of Covid-19,” Elon Musk’s tweet read. “I am giving back to the community,” fake Joe Biden wrote in comparison.
With the attack reportedly lasting only an hour, a Twitter spokesperson has announced that the organisation was “aware of a security incident” and “taking steps to fix it.”
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has since taken to Twitter to address the matter, describing it as a “tough day” for the social media website:
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 the comments, he attached a link to a Twitter Support investigation thread, which described: “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.”
Our investigation is still ongoing but here’s what we know so far:
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 16, 2020
In response to the hack, the site locked access to the compromised high-profile accounts, a move which they acknowledged was “disruptive”:
“We have locked accounts that were compromised and will restore access to the original account owner only when we are certain we can do so securely,” the tweets described.
“Internally, we’ve taken significant steps to limit access to internal systems and tools while our investigation is ongoing. More updates to come as our investigation continues.”
Whilst an operation of this magnitude seems pretty huge, Bitcoin scams have become increasingly popular in recent times. Back in May, a 15-year-old hacker and his self-professed team of “evil geniuses” managed to swindle $24 million in cryptocurrencies from a blockchain corporations advisor.
“Pinsky and his other cohorts are in fact evil computer geniuses with sociopathic traits who heartlessly ruin their innocent victims’ lives and gleefully boast of their multi-million-dollar heists,” the swindled advisor said about his underage hackers.
And as the blue checks got hacked, I couldn’t help but wonder….could our relationship hack it or was the breakup verified? pic.twitter.com/04XnK4wbop
— 𝚂𝚊𝚕 𝙼𝚊𝚝𝚝𝚘𝚜, Chromatical Cat (@salmattos) July 15, 2020
when your platform gets hacked so you block all the blue checks and make it a better place pic.twitter.com/9vXxkjMCeY
— matt’s idea shop (@MattsIdeaShop) July 15, 2020