On Wednesday evening, several major companies and individuals were the target of an orchestrated Bitcoin scam.
The fake posts, now deleted, promised to send $2000 for every $1000 sent to an anonymous address. The scam’s targets included former US President Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Kanye West, Michael Bloomberg and Apple.
In response to the attack, Twitter immediately locked down affected accounts, deleted the fake tweets and went as far as preventing verified accounts to tweet for a few hours. However, it seemed like some damage had already been done.
According to Bitcoin.com, which monitors all cryptocurrency transactions, a total of 12.58 bitcoins, worth almost $110,000, had been sent to the address mentioned in the tweet. It seems that the owners of the accounts targeted weren’t personally impacted by the scam, and the tweet was used to lure other unsuspecting followers to give money.
“We know they used this access to take control of many highly-visible (including verified) accounts and Tweet on their behalf. We’re looking into what other malicious activity they may have conducted or information they may have accessed and will share more here as we have it,” said Twitter.
Twitter’s cybersecurity problem?
Jack Dorsey, the Chief Executive at Twitter, said that the hack was a “tough day” for the platform, revealing that its own internal employee tools were comprised and used in the hack to gain administrative access of targeted accounts.
While hacks are not rare or uncommon to the social media network, the sheer scale and the coordination of the attack has left many with concerns on Twitter’s cybersecurity.
“This appears to be the worst hack of a major social media platform yet,” Dmitri Alperovitch, co-founder of cybersecurity company CrowdStrike, told Reuters.
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