The Twitter accounts of major companies and individuals have been compromised in one of the most widespread and confounding hacks the platform has ever seen, all in service of promoting a bitcoin scam that appears to be earning its creators quite a bit of money.
Yesterday (July 15), the likes of Kanye West, Elon Musk, former President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, as well as official accounts for Apple, Amazon and Uber were all targeted.
The tweets in question saw the celebrities and businesses tweeting an old-fashioned scam, getting fans to donate to a Bitcoin account, and saying they’ll double whatever is paid into the account.
The Verge reports that over $100,000 was sent to the hacker’s Bitcoin account in the time the tweets were up.
The account takeovers appear to have subsided, but new scam tweets were posting to verified accounts on a regular basis starting shortly after 4PM ET and lasting more than two hours. Twitter acknowledged the situation after more than an hour of silence, writing on its support account at 5:45PM ET, “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.”