Three of America’s most powerful men have had their Twitter accounts hacked and used to post scam giveaways.
Billionaires Bill Gates and Elon Musk and presidential candidate Joe Biden were all attacked overnight, with their accounts used to promote scam bitcoin giveaways promising huge rewards.
Kanye West, Barack Obama, Warren Buffet, Michael Bloomberg and Jeff Bezos, along with the official Apple and Uber accounts were also affected by the mass attack. Major cryptocurrency accounts were also affected.
The hackers used Bill Gates’ account to write: “Everyone is asking me to give back, and now is the time. I am doubling all payments sent to my BTC address for the next 30 minutes. You send $1,000, I send you back $2,000.”
The scam post then shared a bitcoin address, before signing off with a cheery: “Only going on for 30 minutes! Enjoy!”
"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," Twitter posted.
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.— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 15, 2020
However, the scam has already paid off: WIRED reports the hackers have accrued more than US$100,000 in victims’ funds.
And in bad news for verified accounts, Twitter has warned access to their accounts may be limited as it addresses the attack.
You may be unable to Tweet or reset your password while we review and address this incident.— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 15, 2020
"You may be unable to Tweet or reset your password while we review and address this incident."
It appears all verified accounts have been affected by the tweeting pause.
Attempts to tweet are met with a warning sign that reads: “Something went wrong, but don’t fret — let’s give it another shot.”