The Twitter accounts of several high-profile figures and organisations have been hacked as part of a widespread operation hijacking the accounts to promote a cryptocurrency scam.
Rapper Kanye West, entrepreneur Elon Musk, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, former US president Barack Obama and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos are among those who were targeted in the attack. In addition, the accounts for Apple, Uber and other large companies were also targeted.
Tweets were sent from the accounts telling followers that if they sent bitcoin to a certain account, it would be returned to them doubled. Many of the tweets referenced the same bitcoin wallet address, meaning that money was sent largely to one singular destination. Musk appears to have been the first account targeted as part of the attack.
Earlier today, Twitter acknowledged through their support account that they were aware of the situation, writing, “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.”
Many of the tweets have since been deleted, and Twitter appears to be temporarily dealing with the problem by banning verified accounts – those with blue ticks – from tweeting.
they locked all verified accounts from posting lmao
— BAKOON (@BAKKOOONN) July 15, 2020
At this stage, it is unclear exactly how the attacks were orchestrated or how many perpetrators were involved, but bitcoin transfer service Blockchain.com claims one bitcoin wallet referenced in the tweets has received over $115,000 USD ($164,000 AUD) in bitcoin.