Large scale hacks on Twitter haven’t happened in a while until Wednesday 15 July when various verified personal Twitter accounts like Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Kanye West, and Barack Obama were hacked including businesses like Apple and Uber.
Before the scope of the incident became clear, the hack initially appeared to target cryptocurrency-focused accounts. In an initial wave of scam posts, @bitcoin, @ripple, @coindesk, @coinbase, and @binance were hacked with the same message: “We have partnered with CryptoForHealth and are giving back 5000 BTC to the community,” followed by a link to a website, which we are not linking to.
In the hours following the initial scam posts, Kim Kardashian West, Jeff Bezos, Barack Obama, Wiz Khalifa, Warren Buffett, YouTuber MrBeast, Wendy’s, CashApp and Mike Bloomberg also posted the cryptocurrency scam.
“I’m feeling generous because of Covid-19,” the now-deleted tweet from the Musk account reads. “I’ll double any BTC payment sent to my BTC address for the next hour. Good luck, and stay safe out there!”
It became clear early on that this situation was not the case of a single account being compromised as we’ve seen in the past, but something else altogether. Even Apple, a company known for robust security, somehow fell victim to the scheme.
Twitter said it was looking into the issue but didn’t immediately have more information about how the accounts got compromised.
In both cases, the tweets end with a link where unsuspecting readers can send Bitcoin. We’ve blacked that bit out in the screenshots above.
It’s a similar situation to scams we’ve seen before, including in 2018, when hackers.
And, it seems that Musk and Gates were only two of several high-profile accounts to get hacked. Scammy tweets were seen in the feeds for Apple and Uber, too.