Twitter was forced to suspended the accounts of many high profile verified accounts – including the likes of Bill Gates, Apple, Barack Obama and Elon Musk – after they were hacked as part of a Bitcoin scam.
Hacks of high-profile Twitter accounts saw tweets compelling followers to send the cryptocurrency to an address, with the false promise of receiving double the pledged among in return.
In response to the hack, which also targeted presidential candidate Joe Biden, rapper Kanye West, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and the corporate account of Uber, Twitter suspended tweets from a wide variety of verified accounts.
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A tweet from the hacked official @Apple account read: “We are giving back to our community and we believe you should too! All Bitcoin send to our address below will be sent back to you doubled. Only going on for the next 30 minutes.”
Most of the messages shared were similar, although some of the accounts also interacted with each other in an effort by the hackers to lend legitimacy to the scam. For example Musk’s account referenced a tweet from Gates and posted: “Me and my brother Bill Gates are returning the favor today! Stay safe out there!”
In tweets from the Twitter Support account the company said: “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.”
The social network added: “You may be unable to Tweet or reset your password while we review and address this incident.”
The incident represents an unprecedented breach for Twitter, considering the volume and high-profile nature of the accounts affected by the hack, as well as the potential fallout from those tricked by scam.
It’s not clear how many people were caught out by the scam and we expect to hear a full explanation from Twitter in the coming days.
In the most recent update from Twitter support, the company wrote: “Most accounts should be able to Tweet again. As we continue working on a fix, this functionality may come and go. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible.”