Suspected Bitcoin scammers have taken over a rash of high-profile Twitter accounts, including those of Barrack Obama, Joe Biden, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Kanye West, in a bid to swindle users out of large sums of crypto currency.
The hackers reportedly made over 10 million US dollars in few minutes from unsuspecting followers after gaining access into accounts of prominent A-list users.
The spate of apparent hacks unfolded on Wednesday afternoon, with Musk sending out a number of tweets including a bitcoin address, offering to hand out thousands of dollars in the electronic currency – so long as he received $1,000 first.
Musk’s compromised posts were soon followed by similar offers from Gates, West, Bezos and Biden. The accounts of Mike Bloomberg and a handful of companies, including Apple, were also swept up in the scam.
While it remains unclear how the hackers gained access to so many accounts, Twitter has acknowledged the unprecedented security breach and said it is now “investigating and taking steps to fix it.”
In addition to celebrities, billionaires, corporations and a presidential candidate, several accounts linked to cryptocurrency exchanges and other financial services were also hijacked, all sending out similar deceptive offers using the same bitcoin address.
The hack appears to be ongoing, with a growing number of noteworthy accounts joining the wave of tweets – most of which have since been deleted – among them former US President Barack Obama.
News of the massive intrusion sent Twitter shares plummeting by nearly 4 percent after markets closed, according to Reuters, shedding most of Wednesday’s gains.
The list of accounts hacked so far have more than 300 million followers
-Barack Obama (120m)
-Bill Gates (51m)
-Elon Musk (37m)
-Wiz Khalifa (36m)
-Kanye West (30m)
-Joe Biden (7m)
-YouTube’s MrBeast (6m)
-Mike Bloomberg (3m)
-Jeff Bezos (1.5m)