Celebrities, entrepreneurs, and politicians including Bill Gates, Kanye West, Elon Musk, and Joe Biden had their Twitter accounts hacked Thursday afternoon.
Each of their accounts pushed a suspicious bitcoin scam to their millions of followers, asking them to send bitcoin in exchange for their amount to be doubled. Of course, whatever bitcoin was sent via the link was not returned.
The tweets had a common theme: the owners of the accounts were “feeling grateful” or they wanted to “[give] back to their fans.”
Kanye west, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Elon Musk Twitter accounts got hacked and this guys have made over 10M dollars— ploque🔥 (@_oluwatobiiiii) July 15, 2020
This will go down as the biggest heist on Twitter pic.twitter.com/q7mUXYzpt0
According to CBS News, Twitter said in a statement, “We detected what we believe to be a coordinated social engineering attack by people who successfully targeted some of our employers with access to internal systems and tools.”
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.— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 16, 2020
The alleged hackers have reportedly amassed approximately $120,000 in bitcoin before Twitter responded to the situation, with over 350 transactions. However, because of the anonymous nature of cryptocurrency, it’s unlikely that the exact amount that the hackers made from the scan will be known.
Twitter responded to the situation by immediately removing the ‘scam tweets’ and limiting the activity of all verified accounts.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted out hours later, “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,” he added.
Tough day for us at Twitter. We all feel terrible this happened.— jack (@jack) July 16, 2020
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.
Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri sent a letter to Twitter immediately following the incident, calling into the questions the security and privacy of Twitter.
“I am concerned that this event may represent not merely a coordinated set of separate hacking incidents but rather a successful attack on the security of Twitter itself,” Hawley said in the letter, “A successful attack on your system’s servers represents a threat to all of your users’ privacy and data security.”