Bitcoin Scammers Hack Twitter Accounts of Kanye West, Elon Musk, Joe Biden, and More

A number of verified accounts sent out tweets telling followers they could double their money by sending Bitcoin to a specific crypto address.

Kanye and Elon

Image via Getty/Kevin Mazur

Kanye and Elon

UPDATED 7/16, 1:17 p.m. ET: According to leaked screenshots obtained by Vice, a "Twitter insider" was responsible for the hacks. Vice's sources say the hackers paid someone at Twitter to help them with the hack.

"We used a rep that literally done all the work for us," the source said. 

See original story below. 

Over a dozen high-profile Twitter accounts were successfully hacked as part of a massive Bitcoin scam.

On Wednesday afternoon, accounts belonging to figures like Kanye West, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Mike Bloomberg, and Joe Biden began sending out tweets that asked followers to send money to specific crypto addresses. All of the posts used similar language, promising all money would be sent back to the sender in double the amount.

"Feeling greatful [sic], doubling all payments sent to me BTC address!" a tweet read on Musk's Twitter account. "You send $1,000, I send back $2,000. Only doing this for the next 30 minutes."

The accounts of XXXTentacion, Wiz Khalifa, Floyd Mayweather, Apple, Uber, and Cash App were also compromised.

Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Kanye West, Uber, Apple and other high profile accounts were hacked by Bitcoin scammers.

someone has managed to hack a slew of large verified twitter accounts to spread a bitcoin scam. they've made around $56k so far it seems...

— Matt Binder (@MattBinder) July 15, 2020

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.

— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 15, 2020

More than an hour after the first scam messages appeared, some of the targeted accounts were still posting tweets that were apparently from hackers. Twitter addressed the breach at around 5:30 p.m. ET, writing: "We are aware of the security incident impacting accounts on Twitter. We are investigating and taking steps to fix it ..."

You may be unable to Tweet or reset your password while we review and address this incident.

— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 15, 2020

Shortly after, it appeared Twitter had temporarily blocked all verified accounts from tweeting or changing passwords.

Twitter has temporily blocked ALL Verified Accounts from Tweeting while this Bitcoin Hack is taking over!!!

— Saf (OLD ACCOUNT) (@SuperSafTV) July 15, 2020

Verified You with
Accounts. 0 followers#hacked

— C̶o̶r̶e̶ ̶D̶u̶m̶p̶e̶d̶ (@WildlingsBuddy) July 15, 2020

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.

💙 to our teammates working hard to make this right.

— jack (@jack) July 16, 2020

According to BuzzFeed News, one Bitcoin wallets linked in the scam had received over $118,000 worth of cryptocurrency on Wednesday afternoon; $61,000 has since been removed. But, as the outlet points out, it's unclear if those transactions were made by unsuspecting Twitter users or the hackers themselves.

On Wednesday night, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey took to the platform to reassure users the company was "working hard to make this right."

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