00:35 GMT08 August 2020
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    Hackers Breach Twitter in Bitcoin Hoax (11)
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    A massive bitcoin scam rocked Twitter on Wednesday, affecting blue-ticked accounts of big companies and political and cultural personalities, including those of Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Kanye West, Joe Biden, Apple, Uber and many more.

    An unprecedented hacker attack affected Twitter, which, starting with the accounts of Elon Musk and Bill Gates, targeted a large number of verified accounts. Tweets with bitcoin scam texts appeared on hacked pages, urging users to send money to the specified address.

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said in a statement that it is aware of the hacker attack affecting high-profile twitter accounts and urged the public not to fall victim to the cryptocurrency scam.

    "We are aware of today's security incident involving several Twitter accounts belonging to high profile individuals," the statement from the FBI's San Francisco field office said, quoted by ABC on Wednesday. "The accounts appear to have been compromised in order to perpetuate cryptocurrency fraud. We advise the public not to fall victim to this scam by sending cryptocurrency or money in relation to this incident."

    Soon after an imposed earlier limitation on tweeting for verified Twitter accounts was lifted, Twitter announced that, as the investigation into the incident is ongoing, most users should again be able to tweet and reset passwords. The company's statement noted that "this functionality may come and go".

    "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", Twitter's statement said.

    Earlier, Twitter said that users might be unable to tweet or reset their passwords, also limiting the ability of verified accounts to tweet as they got the following message when trying to post:

    "This request looks like it might be automated. To protect our users from spam and other malicious activity, we can’t complete this action right now. Please try again later".

    After the initial scam address was reportedly blocked by Twitter, the alleged new one was first posted in the account of Kim Kardashian, when it appeared to have been hacked.

    A screenshot of Kim Kardashian's Twitter page targeted by hackers
    © Sputnik /
    A screenshot of Kim Kardashian's Twitter page targeted by hackers

    ​According to transaction data, scammers managed to get at least $113,000.

    Earlier, Twitter Support announced that it was aware of the attack, and said that an investigation into the matter is ongoing and steps are being taken to fix the situation.

    "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 company tweeted.

    Among those attacked were the Twitter pages of companies, politicians and artists, as well as thousands of ordinary Twitter users.

    The top-list of those affected by the attack includes Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Apple, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Uber, Jeff Bezos and many others. Some users shared screenshots alleging that Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu's account was also hacked.

    ​Former US President Barack Obama's account also became the victim of the massive hacker attack.

    A screenshot of former US President Barack Obama's Twitter page targeted by hackers
    © Sputnik /
    A screenshot of former US President Barack Obama's Twitter page targeted by hackers

    ​The account of Joe Biden was hijacked, along with the accounts of Warren Buffet and Mike Bloomberg. Responding to the hack, Biden's campaign announced that the account was "locked down" immediately after the scam tweet appeared.

    “Twitter locked down the account immediately following the breach and removed the related tweet. We remain in touch with Twitter on the matter", the campaign said.

    ​The Twitter accounts of Apple and Kanye West were hacked after those of Bill Gates and Elon Musk.

    "We are giving back to our community. We support Bitcoin and we believe you should too! All Bitcoin sent to our address below will be sent back to you doubled! bc1qxy2kgdygjrsqtzq2n0yrf2493p83kkfjhx0wlh...[] Only going on for the next 30 minutes", Apple's Twitter account read.
    A screenshot of Apple's Twitter page targeted by hackers
    © Sputnik /
    A screenshot of Apple's Twitter page targeted by hackers

    West's tweet said that he would "only be doing a maximum of $10,000,000" in the giveaway.

    "I am giving back to my fans. All Bitcoin sent to my address below will be doubled. I am only doing a maximum of $10,000,000", Kanye West's tweet said.
    A screenshot of Kanye West's Twitter page apparently targeted by hackers
    © Sputnik /
    A screenshot of Kanye West's Twitter page apparently targeted by hackers

    Earlier, the scam had tech billionaire Elon Musk announcing via Twitter that he "felt greatful [sic]" and pledged to double all payments sent to "his BTC address", noting that he was "only doing this for the next 30 minutes".

    "Feeling greatful, doubling all payments sent to my BTC address! You send $1,000, I send back $2,000! Only doing this for the next 30 minutes", the now deleted tweet read, supplied with a BTC address "bc1qxy2kgdygjrsqtzq2n0yrf2493p83kkfjhx0wlh".
    A screenshot of 'Elon Musk's' tweet suggesting that all payments be doubled
    © Sputnik /
    A screenshot of 'Elon Musk's' tweet suggesting that all payments be doubled

    After the first tweet was deleted, another came shortly after, with similar text. It was deleted after a few minutes as well, but was followed by the third scam tweet.

    The tweet parade then claimed that thousands of dollars had already been sent.

    ​Twitter users immediately raised concerns that Musk's account had been hacked, warning others not to send money to the given address and recalling other blue-ticked accounts posting the same call. 

    Some users expressed worry on the possible impact of the hacker attack on the world leader's accounts.

    ​Twitter spokeswoman Aly Pavela said the company was looking into the issue and would have more to say later, cited by NBC News.

    Due to the attack that spanned multiple verified accounts, Twitter shares plummeted, according to trading data shared in social media.

    ​In the first hour of the series of attacks, social media users noted that at least 5,314 people fell for the scam.

    ​One user listed other accounts that had been hacked. 

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    Hackers Breach Twitter in Bitcoin Hoax (11)
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