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Twitter accounts of Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Elon Musk and several others hacked

Thursday, July 16, 2020 • Tamil Comments

Scammers hacked into the Twitter accounts of high-profile people and major companies in an apparent cryptocurrency scam.

The accounts of the tech giants included billionaire Bill Gates, U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden, reality television show star Kim Kardashian, former U.S. President Barack Obama, billionaire Elon Musk, rapper Kanye West, etc. The scam messages on their respective Twitter profiles read, "You know I living giving back to my community. I’m doubling all BTC payments sent to my address. You send $1,000 and I will send #$2,000 back! Tell your family & friends! Only going on for 30 minutes. (sic)" The tweets on Apple's and Jeff Bezos' accounts claimed that the scam has so far seen over 160 incoming transactions to the mentioned BTC wallet, amounting to collections of over $40,000 (~Rs 30 lakh) in Bitcoin already.

In a series of tweets, Twitter mentioned, "We know they [the hackers] used this access to take control of many highly-visible (including verified) accounts and Tweet on their behalf." Co-founder of cyber-security company CrowdStrike, Dmitri Alperovitch, reportedly said, "This appears to be the worst hack of a major social media platform yet. On the official account of Mr Musk, the Tesla and SpaceX chief appeared to offer to double any Bitcoin payment sent to the address of his digital wallet "for the next 30 minutes. I'm feeling generous because of Covid-19. Meanwhile, Dr Alexi Drew from King's College London told a news agency, "If you were to have this kind of incident take place in the middle of a crisis, where Twitter was being used to either communicate de-escalatory language or critical information to the public, and suddenly it's putting out the wrong messages from several verified status accounts - that could be seriously destabilising."

Stating that it was a Terrible day for those associated with Twitter, its CEO Jack Dorsey had tweeted, "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."

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