Twitter accounts of some big names in the tech industry, politics, and entertainment were hacked on Wednesday, July 15. Twitter said it is working out to fix the security breach.

From former President Barack Obama to tech superpowers Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos, to celebrity couple Kanye and Kim Kardashian West, and even the tech giant Apple had their Twitter accounts hacked.

Twitter accounts of Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and other personalities hacked
(Photo : Kon Karampelas/Unsplash)
Promised to double Bitcoin payment s in tweets

Promised to double Bitcoin payments in tweets

The list goes on but tweets from these accounts are similar: they promise to double the bitcoin payments sent to a cryptocurrency wallet. Most of the tweets also said these are their way of "giving back to the community stricken by COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the New York Times, about 400 people fell for the scam within hours and sent more than $100,000 to the wallet. However, the amount in the wallet seems fluctuating and it is unclear whether the owner is sending more back. The New York Times also said it is the first incident that used public figures' real accounts in a scam as hackers used to create a fake account to ask money from people.

Twitter said in a tweet that it is aware of the security breach and investigating while trying to fix it. Another message also advised users to change passwords while they address the incident.

The Verge reported that the extent of the attack is still unknown, but it affected numerous major companies and prominent personalities. The media outlet guesses that hackers either found a security gap in Twitter's login process or they gained access to admin privileges of a Twitter employee.

The Verge also noted that the began at 4:17 PM when a Musk's account sent a tweet that promised to double BTC payment sent to an address within an hour. It was immediately deleted, but another tweet was sent about the fake offer, which was also deleted.

A similar message was tweeted to Gates' account that used the same BTC address. While it was deleted shortly, an identical tweet was sent minutes after.

The biggest security attack in Twitter's history

While the attack just asked for Bitcoin, it was still a fierce one as they targeted high-profile Americans. However, CNN noted the incident as "the biggest security incident in Twitter's history" considering the number of A-list accounts hacked. It raises concern as world leaders use their Twitter accounts to publicize important policies and decisions, so taking over their accounts can be destructive.

Last year, security concerns were raised as Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's account was hacked. However, Twitter has already fixed the system used by hackers then, so it is unlike that the recent attacks used the same.

Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk speaks at an opening ceremony for Tesla China-made Model Y program in Shanghai
(Photo : REUTERS/Aly Song)
Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk speaks at an opening ceremony for Tesla China-made Model Y program in Shanghai, China January 7, 2020.

Musk has also been a favorite target of bitcoin scammers. Many of them create fake accounts, pushing Twitter to advise locking some Elon Musk accounts.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson of Bill Gates told CNN's Teddy Schleifer that the tweet was not sent by Gates and it "appears to be part of a larger issue that Twitter is facing." The spokesperson also said Twitter is already aware of the issue and is now "working to restore the account."

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