On Wednesday afternoon, a dozen or so major Twitter accounts were compromised in an organized Bitcoin scam equivalent to over Rs. 89 lakhs.
- Twitter briefly blocked all verified accounts
- All tweets asked people to donate Bitcoins
- The hack has collected nearly Rs. 89 lakhs in donations till now
During a Twitter Bitcoin Scam, which compromised accounts of highs and biggies, with millions of followers Tweeted various “feeling generous” scam posts. This is when followers are encouraged to submit an amount of money to a specified user with promise they would receive double the amount back.
Twitter accounts of several prominent verified users were hacked in a widespread in the Twitter Bitcoin Scam. The official accounts of former US President Barack Obama, rapper Kanye West and his wife Kim Kardashian, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, media tycoon Mike Bloomberg, along with major brands such as Apple and Uber, were among many others which fell victim to the hack.
These accounts sent out tweets trying to dupe people into donating money in Bitcoin cryptocurrency. Twitter had briefly blocked access to all verified accounts (marked with blue tick) and are presently investigating into the matter.
The mysterious tweets were marked by a similar message, asking people to donate Bitcoins, promising double returns. Twitter has removed all such posts since. A post from Bill Gates’ account read, “Everyone is asking me to give back. You send $1,000, I send you back $2,000.” A similar message was posted from several other prominent accounts as well, specifying that the double return offer would last for 30 minutes.
Twitter said that it was investigating the issue and taking steps to fix it. While Twitter briefly blocked access to almost all verified accounts globally as one of the first steps, it later revealed that most of the accounts have now been restored. However, some of the compromised accounts are still locked by Twitter and access will be restored to the original account owner when things are secure.
When the Bitcoin address shared on the hacked tweets was checked on Blockchain.com, it was revealed that the hackers have received 373 transactions till now, collecting 12.86252562 Bitcoins – equivalent to over $118,300 (roughly Rs. 89 lakhs).
Meanwhile, a Vice report suggests that a Twitter insider was responsible for the hack. It quoted a source saying, “We used a rep that literally done all the work for us.” Another source revealed that the insider was paid for the task as well.
The motive behind the attack is believed to make the most money as quickly as possible. While there are conflicting reports of how much money the hack has made, the BBC report also says in order to make the scam seem more legitimate, cyber-criminals usually add their own funds into their Bitcoin wallets.
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