On Wednesday, in an attempt to scam millions of people, a sophisticated cyberattack hacked some of Twitter’s most-followed accounts and asked the followers to click a dubious link asking for money. The widespread hack in a way gained access to the verified Twitter accounts of Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Michael Bloomberg, Warren Buffet, Jeff Bezos, Joe Biden, Bill Gates, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West. It appeared to be coordinated. Companies were not spared. Those that were hacked include tech giant Apple and several cryptocurrency sources, like Ripple, Gemini and Binance.
Together, more than 320 million people follow these accounts. The followers were invited to send bitcoins to a long, anonymized link and said the money would be doubled and returned to the sender in the profile of those twitter accounts. A message posted on Biden’s account, which has since been deleted, read, “I am giving back to the community. All Bitcoin sent to the address below will be sent back double! If you send $1,000, I will send back $2,000. Only doing this for 30 minutes.” Obama, who has the most followers on the platform at 120 million, got a similarly worded message posted in his Twitter account.
The tweets, in some cases, were widely shared and garnered thousands of retweets. It’s not clear how the hackers accessed the accounts and how many people fell for the scam. In a statement, Twitter stated that investigations are on the way for the security lapses. While the incident is being addressed, users may be unable to send tweets or reset their passwords.
Many verified users with many followers reported not being unable to post tweets for some time Wednesday afternoon. This Twitter hack seems to be one of the largest in the history of the social media platform. Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey had his account hacked last August, where racist tweets were posted from his profile.