At least a dozen Twitter accounts belonging to major public figures were hacked by scamsters executing a cryptocurrency fraud scheme. A tweet appeared on the timelines of prominent individuals such as Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Joe Biden and Barack Obama urging their followers to send cryptocurrency to a Bitcoin wallet, promising that the funds would be returned in double.
The widespread nature of the recurring scam solicitations makes it likely that hackers discovered a weakness in Twitter’s internal security protocols, enabling them to take control of the accounts of some of the platform’s largest users.
Unfortunately, some Twitter users fell for the dubious scam, with blockchain records indicating that the scam cryptocurrency wallet was sent at least eleven entire bitcoins. One bitcoin is worth around $9,000.
As Twitter struggled to prevent the scamsters from taking control of any more large celebrity accounts and scamming more people, the platform temporarily suspended all tweets from verified users on Wednesday afternoon. Verified accounts were then unlocked, only to be locked again as the scamsters attempted a second round of scam messages.
Twitter security acknowledged the wide-ranging scam on Wednesday afternoon, confirming that they were disabling the tweeting ability of some accounts to prevent the scam messages.
You may be unable to Tweet or reset your password while we review and address this incident.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 15, 2020
Shares of Twitter fell 3% on the stock market in the wake of the security breach.