Twitter hack targets high-profile accounts in bitcoin scam

Friday, 17 Jul, 2020

The tech moguls' accounts began sending tweets Wednesday afternoon offering to double bitcoin payments sent to their addresses. They were then used to take control of many high-profile and verified accounts and tweet from them.

Chief Executive Jack Dorsey earlier said the company was diagnosing the problem and pledged to share "everything we can when we have a more complete understanding of exactly what happened".

Twitter Support acknowledged the issue at 2:45 p.m. before implementing a widespread lockdown on tweets (but not retweets) and password resets for verified accounts sometime after 3 p.m. Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment from

In a statement posted online, it said: "We are investigating and taking steps to fix it".

Most if not all these accounts were Twitter verified, and between them they shared tens of millions of followers.

"We detected what we believe to be a coordinated social engineering attack by people who successfully targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools", the Twitter Support account said. Apple's Twitter account, as well as the account for former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg were also hit.

Although many users knew the gesture was the evil working of a cybercriminal, others replied they sent money to the listed account.

"I have made a decision to give back to my community", read one tweet, since deleted, posted to Jeff Bezos's account.

Unidentified hackers broke into the Twitter accounts of technology moguls, politicians, celebrities and major companies Wednesday in an apparent Bitcoin scam.

A second source also reportedly said that a Twitter employee was paid for their assistance. Twitter said that more work is still being done in order to get things back to normal, and added that it is still now looking into the problem.

Twitter has said it is aware of the security incident.

The election analyst, Nate Silver, pieced together: "Poll shows democrat leading" thanks to @everyword, a bot account tasked with tweeting out every word in the English language.

Of course, this isn't the first time Musk became a target of Twitter-based bitcoin scammers.