Verified Twitter Users Hacked in Bitcoin Scam
By: Brianna Zhang
On Wednesday at about 4 pm, dozens of verified users’ accounts on Twitter were hacked. Each account posted a tweet along the lines of this: send Bitcoin and I will send double the amount back.
The perpetrators’ targets were important figures, such as Joseph R. Biden Jr., Kanye West, Bill Gates, Barack Obama, and Elon Musk.
At first, only the accounts of important cryptocurrency leaders and companies were targeted in the attacks; however, the scope soon broadened to important figures in politics, entertainment, and tech.
Twitter reatliated by deleting the tweets and preventing verified users from tweeting for a few hours. “You may be unable to Tweet or reset your password while we review and address this incident,” Twitter announced. Their service was restored at about 8:30 pm.
It was revealed that employees of Twitter used social engineering tactics to gain access to high-profile accounts and posted the scamming tweets.
Jack Dorsey, chief executive of Twitter, said that it was a “tough day for us at Twitter. We all feel terrible that this happened. We’re diagnosing and will share everything we can when we have a more complete understanding of exactly what happened.”
The hackers made some notable errors during their attacks. Each post made by them sounded exactly the same, making them easier to detect and avoid. Also, by using Bitcoin, the hackers showed that they were unable or unwilling to use higher-level methods.
By Wednesday evening, the Bitcoin wallets mentioned in the scam tweets received over 300 transactions and earned Bitcoin worth over $100,000.