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Major U.S. Twitter accounts are hacked in Bitcoin scam

Posted July. 17, 2020 07:45,   

Updated July. 17, 2020 07:45


Former U.S. President Barack Obama, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates are among many prominent U.S. figures whose Twitter accounts were hacked. The target list includes Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg and rapper Kanye West.

According to foreign newspapers, the attack happened quickly Wednesday afternoon. A post that promised Bitcoin they sent would be sent back doubled was posted and then deleted on the targeted accounts. “I am giving back to the community,” said a tweet posted to Biden’s account. “All Bitcoin sent to the address below will be sent back doubled! If you sent $1,000, I will send back $2,000. Only doing this for 30 minutes.” Similar tweets were posted and deleted on the official accounts of Apple and Uber.

This information spread quickly as they have a huge following. According to TrendsMap.com, the phrase “I am giving back to the community” were tweeted 3,300 times within four hours. Twelve Bitcoins (about 110,000 dollars) were sent to the link displayed in the tweets reportedly.

Twitter launched an investigation immediately. “We all feel terrible this happened,” said Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey. “We’re diagnosing and will share everything we can when we have a more complete understanding of exactly what happened.” Security experts believe hackers targeted administrator accounts given the size of the attack where multiple accounts were hacked simultaneously.

“The accounts appear to have been compromised in order to perpetuate cryptocurrency fraud," the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said. "We advise the public not to fall victim to this scam.”

Jae-Dong Yu jarrett@donga.com