Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Kanye West, and other high-profile Twitter accounts including presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden appeared Wednesday to be the target of organized hacks across the social media platform to offer fake bitcoin deals, The Washington Post reported.
Twitter accounts for Apple and Uber, along with former president Barack Obama, also appeared to be targeted, the newspaper reported.
The tweets instructed people to send cryptocurrency to the same bitcoin address, according to the Post. The tweets were all deleted shortly after being posted. Twitter spokesperson Aly Pavela said the company was investigating, the newspaper reported.
Musk’s tweet read, “Feeling greatful, doubling all payments sent to my BTC address!You send $1,000, I send back $2,000! Only doing this for the next 30 minutes.” Amazon chief executive and Washington Post owner Bezos’ account tweeted, “I have decided to give back to my community.” The tweet said the giveaway would be limited to $50 million, according to the Post.
Some people were complying, according to the public register of Bitcoin transactions. The Bitcoin address linked in the tweets was quickly flooded with more than 200 examples of people sending it money, adding up to $100,000, NBC News reported.
“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,” the company said in a tweet.
Gates has 51.1 million Twitter followers, while Musk’s has 36.9 million, NBC News reported. Apple’s account has 4.5 million.
It was not clear how the attacks began, but some cybersecurity agents believe someone may have gained access to internal Twitter controls that would enable them to take over accounts.
“This is massive,” cybersecurity expert Rachel Tobac, the CEO of SocialProof Security, told the Post. “This is most likely the largest attack I’ve ever seen. We are extremely lucky that these attackers are monetarily motivated and not sowing mass chaos all over the world.”
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