In a lethal strike to Twitter, Bitcoin scammers successfully hacked official accounts of many known personalities and brands to scam people into believing their money was soon going to be doubled. As many as 300+ transactions were recorded in the public ledger of bitcoin with the address mentioned in the Tweets. This consisted of a total transfer of 12 BTC that accounted for more than $100,000 (1 BTC valued at $9,200, as of July 15, 2020).
Such online scams are commonly observed on a daily basis, however, the extent of the number of accounts hacked and simultaneously used for scamming people has not been seen earlier. The list of individuals and brands whose official Twitter accounts were hacked include:
- Jeff Bezos (Amazon CEO)
- Bill Gates (Microsoft Co-Founder)
- Elon Musk (Tesla and SpaceX CEO)
- Warren Buffet (Berkshire Hathaway CEO)
- Barack Obama (The Former U.S. President)
- Michael Bloomberg (The Former New York Mayor)
- Joe Biden (presumptive Democratic nominee for President)
- Benjamin Netanyahu (Israeli Prime Minister)
- Kanye West (Rapper) and wife Kim Kardashian (T.V. Celebrity)
- Wiz Khalifa (Rapper)
- Apple (Corporate Account)
- Uber (Corporate Account) and many more.
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) July 15, 2020
Twitter was quick to follow-up on the incident and tweeted that they were “aware of a security incident impacting accounts on Twitter” and were taking steps to fix it.
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
As a temporary measure, Twitter had locked and suspended all operations of the affected accounts to investigate the cause and extent of the breach. It wanted to make sure whether any additional user information was compromised and if any backdoors were created for future account takeovers. It has also reported that significant steps were taken to keep internal systems and tools running with restricted access as the investigation is still on-going.
“In separate but probably related attacks, several notable Twitter accounts in the cryptocurrency space were also hacked in a mass coordinated attack.”
– Satnam Narang, Staff Research Engineer at Tenable
Satnam Narang, a Staff Research Engineer at Tenable, said that this was probably much bigger than its seen. He revealed that “In separate but probably related attacks, several notable Twitter accounts in the cryptocurrency space were also hacked in a mass coordinated attack. These included crypto exchanges like Coinbase, Binance, Gemini, KuCoin, Bitfinex, CEOs and founders like CZ_Binance, JustinSunTron, SatoshiLite, cryptocurrency accounts like TronFoundation, to promote a similar COVID-19 cryptocurrency giveaway scam.”
He further advised, “Users should never participate in so-called giveaways or opportunities that claim to double your cryptocurrency because they’re almost always guaranteed to be a scam.”
To stay updated on the ongoing investigation follow the Twitter Support account.