The Twitter accounts of some of the world’s richest men are Bill Gates, Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos, former President Barack Obama, Democratic candidate in pectore, Joe Biden, or rapper Kanye West – were hacked on Wednesday with the apparent intention to commit a bitcoin scam.
The profiles published a very similar message in which they promised to double the money if funds were sent in these virtual currencies within 30 minutes. Uber and Apple followed suit soon after.
The public data available on the blockchain indicates that the bitcoin account used for the fraud had already managed to raise $ 100,000 (87,700 euros). After such a security breach, Twitter shares fell by 4% in their closed-market trading. The company said it is investigating what happened.
The strange phenomena began to be perceived at four in the afternoon (time of the American East Coast). “I am grateful. I am going to duplicate all payments sent to my bitcoin account. If you send $ 1,000 [877 euros], I’ll send you back 2,000 [1,755 euros].
I will only do it for the next 30 minutes,” said the message from Elon Musk, owner of Tesla. His account posted a few more tweets that were later deleted.
The profile of Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, was expressed similarly: “Everybody asks me to give something in return. Now is the time”, and he repeated that idyllic exchange of two for one. The account of Bezos, Amazon’s patron, also announced his decision to “give back to the community” and set a cap of 50 million dollars (44 million euros).
According to TrendsMap.com data cited by Bloomberg, the phrase “I return to my community due to COVIDcovid-19” was tweeted 3,330 times within four hours.
The activity focused mostly on Houston and then leaped to IP addresses in New York, Spain, London, Italy, Jakarta, and Tokyo. After seven, the company had not yet released figures on how many users could have been affected.
The followers of many of the celebrities attacked number in the millions: from Obama’s 127 million to Bezos’s 51 million, 30 Bill Gates or Mike Bloomberg’s three, also hacked.
At Twitter, Tough day for us. We all feel terrifying this occurred.
We will share Each and everything we can when we understand exactly what happened.
“We are aware of the security incident that has impacted Twitter accounts. We are reviewing and making moves to fix it. We will inform everyone of the news shortly,” said the company in a brief message on Twitter.
Minutes later, he warned that some users might be “unable to tweet or reset their passwords while reviewing the incident.” The limitation seemed to affect only verified accounts, although the company did not specify.
This has been the last of several attacks suffered on the social network in recent years. In August 2019, the account of Twitter founder Jack Dorsey himself hacked.
The hackers posted a string of offensive and racist tweets that erased soon after. Two years earlier, other relevant accounts hacked to spread messy messages.
This year, the profiles of more than a dozen NFL (football league) teams were cut just before the Super Bowl, a global event.
Some experts stressed on Wednesday the scope of the attack and its coordination. “This appears to be the largest act of hacking into a registered social network ever,” Dmitri Alperovitch, co-founder of cybersecurity company CrowdStrike, told Reuters.
Several hacked tweets were quickly removed, but some affected had trouble regaining control of their accounts.
In the case of billionaire Elon Musk, after a message claiming cryptocurrency removed, other tweets with the same content reappeared.