Hackers appear to target Twitter accounts of Elon Musk, Bill Gates, others in digital currency scam

Elon Musk Bill Gates

  • A tweet sent by Elon Musk’s account on Wednesday asked for Bitcoin and promised to “double all payments” sent to an address.
  • It was the beginning of a wave of takeovers of high-profile Twitter accounts, including Apple, Uber, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg, and several cryptocurrency-related companies.
  • Twitter is looking into the issue.

A tweet sent by Elon Musk’s account on Wednesday asked for Bitcoin and promised to “double all payments” sent to an address.

It was the beginning of a wave of takeovers of high-profile Twitter accounts, including Apple, Uber, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, and several cryptocurrency-related companies.

Bill Gates

Twitter’s stock is down 4% after hours as the company struggles to get the hack under control and has so far provided zero information about it.

One wallet linked to in the tweets had apparently received over 11 bitcoin, worth over $100,000 at the current exchange rate, according to Blockchain.com.

Elon Musk

The Musk tweet was deleted minutes after it was sent, before a second tweet asking for bitcoin was posted from the same account and deleted again. In total, Musk’s account sent three bitcoin tweets from a Twitter web account and one reply to Bill Gates. The bitcoin-related tweet was Apple’s first ever tweet, although the account had placed ads in the past.

Cameron Winklevoss, co-founder of cryptocurrency market Gemini, offered an explanation in a tweet: “ALL MAJOR CRYPTO TWITTER ACCOUNTS HAVE BEEN COMPROMISED.” Earlier on Wednesday, several cryptocurrency accounts simultaneously linked to a phishing site called CryptoForHealth.

Jeff Bezos

In the past, one popular cryptocurrency scam on Twitter involved attackers changing their display name and avatar to match Elon Musk, then they would reply to his tweets pretending to be him asking for bitcoin. But on Wednesday, the accounts tweeting about bitcoin were real. One wallet linked to in the tweets had received over 11 bitcoin, worth over $100,000 at the current exchange rate, according to Blockchain.com.

The tweets on Wednesday were sent through a web browser accessing Twitter.com, according to the site.

Tesla didn’t immediately reply to request for comment. Twitter said that it was looking into the issue.

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