Twitter has suffered a massive security breach after dozens of prominent accounts were hijacked and displayed scam messages requesting transfers of bitcoin to an anonymous account controlled by the hackers.
The attack unfolded on Wednesday evening, with the affected accounts including presidential candidate Joe Biden, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West.
Former President Barack Obama, the most popular account on Twitter with more than 120 million followers, was also targeted, as were the corporate accounts of Apple and Uber.
The widespread and coordinated nature of the attack led some experts to speculate that a Twitter employee with administrative access had been hacked, or that a flaw in the login process was being exploited. Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment from DailyMail.com.
‘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 public statement.
Although individual Twitter accounts have been briefly breached in the past using stolen passwords, the scale of Wednesday’s attack was unprecedented.
Other political figures impacted by the attack included Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and former Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg.
The fraudulent tweets all followed a similar formula, and directed potential victims to send bitcoin to the same anonymous wallet.
‘I am giving back to my community due to COVID-19!’ read the scam tweet posted to Obama’s account.
‘All Bitcoin sent to my address below will be sent back doubled. If you send $1,000, I will send back $2,000!’ the fake message continued.
A tweet surfaced on Elon Musk’s Twitter account around 4:30pm ET Wednesday that tells users if they send him $1,000 they will intern receive $2,000. ‘Feeling grateful, doubling all payment sent to my BTC address,’ reads the tweet, which states the offer will only be available for the next 30 minutes
Elon Musk is known for sharing bizarre posts on Twitter , but the latest one seems to really be out of character. A scam is circling Twitter and has been shared to Musk’s account, along with Bill Gate’s page Wednesday evening that tells users to send them money and in return will receive double the amount
The message shared on Bezos’ account stated he is ‘only doing a maximum of $50,000,000.’
Most of the fraudulent tweets disappeared within minutes of first being posted, suggesting that Twitter administrators were playing whack-a-mole with the attacker.
Although many users knew the gesture was the evil working of a cybercriminal, others replied they sent money to the listed account.
The same tweet, with some difference, was shared on Musk’s Twitter account three times after initially surfacing around 4:30pm ET and shortly after on Gates’ page.
The various fraudulent tweets were retweeted thousands of times before disappearing.
Many users are tweeting that the post is a scam, hoping no one will fall for it.
The same tweet, with some difference, has been shared on Musk’s Twitter account three times since initially surfacing around 4:30pm ET and shortly after on Gates’ page
One Twitter users followed the first tweet on Musk’s page that said he would send his followers $2,000 if they made a payment of $1,000 – and now the user by the name of ‘will’ finds he has been scammed
However, some appear to have sent money to the address, only to find that they have been duped.
One Twitter user followed the instructions on Musk’s page that said he would send his followers $2,000 if they made a payment of $1,000 – and now the user by the name of ‘will’ finds he has been scammed.