In a massive attack on Twitter, several prominent Twitter accounts appeared to have been hacked on Wednesday, including Amazon owner Jeff Bezos, financier Warren Buffet, Elon Musk, US presidential contender Joe Biden and many more.
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.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 15, 2020
The accounts of former President Barack Obama, Amazon owner Jeff Bezos, financier Warren Buffet and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Bill Gates were also affected.
Screengrabs taken from the accounts appear to show them posting a link asking for Bitcoin donations, variously saying in some form they are “giving back” to their communities or fans by doubling any donations.
Twitter’s official support account said the microblogging website is “aware of a security incident impacting accounts on Twitter.” “We are investigating and taking steps to fix it. We will update everyone shortly,” it said.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey wrote, “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.”
Product chief Kayvon Beykpour also released a public statement on his personal account, writing, “Our investigation into the security incident is still ongoing but we’ll be posting updates from @TwitterSupport with more detail soon. In the meantime, I just wanted to say that I’m really sorry for the disruption and frustration this incident has caused our customers.”
The turmoil began when Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s Twitter account was apparently compromised and was used to run a bitcoin scam. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates’ account was also accessed by the same person, who posted a similar message with an identical bitcoin wallet address.
A spokesperson for Gates tells Recode’s Teddy Schleifer, “We can confirm that this tweet was not sent by Bill Gates. This appears to be part of a larger issue that Twitter is facing. Twitter is aware and working to restore the account.”
Later, the accounts of Apple, Uber, Barack Obama, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Joe Biden, Kanye West, and Mike Bloomberg, among others, were also compromised and began publicizing the scam.
The BBC can report from a security source that a web address – cryptoforhealth.com – to which some hacked tweets directed users was registered by a cyber-attacker using the email address [email protected]
The name “Anthony Elias” was used to register the website. Cryptoforhealth is also a registered user name on Instagram. The description of the profile read “It was us”, alongside a slightly smiling face emoticon.
The Instagram profile also posted a message that said: “It was a charity attack Your money will find its way to the right place.”
As per reports, it appears that someone has managed to get access to administrative privileges and bypassed the passwords of almost anyone at will. The aim of the twitter hack looks very clear – make as much money, as quickly, as possible.
The FBI’s San Francisco field office put out a statement on Wednesday about the latest cyber-breach. “The accounts appear to have been compromised in order to perpetuate cryptocurrency fraud,” it said. “We advise the public not to fall victim to this scam by sending cryptocurrency or money in relation to this incident.”