05:46 GMT05 August 2020
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    Everyday Twitterati briefly rejoiced and roamed free on the social media platform while their “verified” counterparts were blocked from tweeting and Twitter attempted to undo the hackings of a cheeky crypto thief who exploited celebrity accounts and made off with netizens’ bitcoins.

    Twitter Support announced on Wednesday evening that its team was investigating a particular “security incident impacting accounts on Twitter” and taking the appropriate steps to remedy the issue.

    Prior to the notice, a number of celebrity and internet celebrity accounts tweeted sketchy requests for cryptocurrency. Issued under the guise of “giving back” amid the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic, the tweets promised to double netizens’ bitcoins if they sent the cryptocurrency to a specified address.

    “Only doing this for the next 30 minutes! Enjoy,” read the scam issued from the personal account of former US President Barack Obama.

    Notable accounts infiltrated by the hacker included those of Obama, business magnate Bill Gates, entrepreneur Elon Musk, rapper Wiz Khalifa, fashion and music mogul Kanye West, former Vice President and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, tech giant Apple, Uber and failed Demoratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg.

    Even cryptocurrency exchange Gemini was amongst those hacked, resulting in the associated accounts of Coinbase, Binance and Coindesk being compromised and used during the scam.

    While Twitter Support went to work to prevent a major cryptocurrency scam from tarnishing the platform’s name, unverified, regular Twitter users used the unprecedented opportunity to secure a bit of their own social media fame in the short time that verified accounts could not tweet.

    Although a random sequence of letters and numbers should let you know something is fishy about a post, BuzzFeed News senior tech reporter Ryan Mac noted that the addresses included in the tweets link to an actual virtual wallet.

    As of the publication of this article, the celebrity-silencing scammer had managed to rack up more than $113,000 in bitcoins from eager netizens.

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    Tags:
    gemini, Bitcoin, Bitcoin, internet, cryptocurrency, hack, hacking, Bill Gates, Obama, social media, Twitter
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