Major US figures’ Twitter accounts hacked in Bitcoin scam

Major US figures' Twitter accounts hacked in Bitcoin scam
Major US Twitter accounts were targeted in Bitcoin scam. Source: Metro.com
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Daily US Times: Billionaires Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk are among many prominent US figures targeted by hackers on Twitter in an apparent Bitcoin scam.

The Bitcoin scam also affected official accounts of former president Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Kanye West. Tweets from their accounts also requested donations in the cryptocurrency.

A tweet from Mr Gates’ account said: “Everyone is asking me to give back. You send $1,000, I send you back $2,000.”

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted late on Wednesday, saying: “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.”

Earlier, Twitter took the extraordinary step of stopping many verified accounts marked with blue ticks from tweeting altogether.

Some other “account functions” were disabled while password reset requests were also being denied.

By 20:30 EDT (00:30 GMT Thursday) users with verified account started to be able to send tweets again, but Twitter said it was still working on a fix.

“This appears to be the worst hack of a major social media platform yet,” said Dmitri Alperovitch, who co-founded cyber-security company CrowdStrike.

On the official account of Mr Musk, the SpaceX and Tesla chief appeared to offer to double any Bitcoin payment sent to the address of his digital wallet “for the next 30 minutes”.

The tweed added: “I’m feeling generous because of Covid-19.”

It also added a Bitcoin address, though the tweets were deleted just minutes after they were first posted.

But while such tweet from Mr Musk’s account was removed, another one appeared, then a third.

Source: Twitter

As well as reality TV star Kim Kardashian, her husband rapper Kanye West, former US President Obama, the current Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, and media billionaire Mike Bloomberg, major companies Uber and Apple were targeted.

The Biden campaign later said Twitter had “locked down the account within a few minutes of the breach and removed the related tweet”.

“This appears to be part of a larger issue that Twitter is facing,” a spokesman for Bill Gates told AP news agency.

The BBC reported from a security source that a web address – cryptoforhealth.com – to which some hacked tweets directed users was registered by a cyber-attacker using the email address mkworth5@gmail.com. Cryptoforhealth is also a registered on Instagram, apparently set up contemporaneously to the hack.

There is a post in that Instagram profile, saying: “It was a charity attack Your money will find its way to the right place.”

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