Last updated on Oct 6th, 2020 at 04:31 pm

One of the world’s biggest social media security breaches took place on Tuesday when hackers were able to take over verified Twitter accounts for an alleged Bitcoin scam…

Kanye West, Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk’s accounts were compromised, with hackers posting calls to their followers to deposit bitcoin in exchange for a massive return on investment.

Bill Gates’s account tweeted: “”Everyone is asking me to give back, and now is the time. I am doubling all payments sent to my BTC address for the next 30 minutes. you Send $1000, I send you back $2000… Only going on for 30 minutes! Enjoy!”

It is not clear yet how much money the hackers manged to get from followers in the “charity” scam. The hackers have allegedly conveyed a message that the money would go to charity.

Other accounts that were affected included:

  • Kim Kardashian
  • Uber’s ride-sharing app
  • Apple

Security worries

Jason Koebler, editor of Motherboard at VICE Media says that the publication spoke to one of the hackers. “Were able to confirm how they got accounts: Twitter employee used internal tool to change email addresses associated with accounts. Twitter seems to have just confirmed this in tweets as well.”  Read the article HERE.

Many called out Twitter on this alleged security weakness, questioning how Twitter employees could access accounts internally, and tweet as the verified user.


Kaspersky cybersecurity comment on the hack:

“This major scam flags the fact that we are living in the era when even people with computer skills might be lured into scammers trap, and even the most secure accounts can be hacked,” says Dmitry Bestuzhev, cybersecurity expert at Kaspersky.

“To our estimates, at current, at least 367 users have transferred around 120,000 dollars in total to attackers. Today we see how, along with new attack vectors, scams combine old and effective techniques, to use a surprise element and gain people’s trust to facilitate the attack and lure victims into a trap.”

Twitter’s response

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted on Tuesday:

“Tough day for us at Twitter. We all feel terrible this happened. We’re diagnosing and will share everything we can when we have a more complete understanding of exactly what happened. Thanks to our teammates working hard to make this right.”