High Profile Twitter Users Hacked

Hackers pumping a crypto giveaway scam appear to have compromised the Twitter accounts of leading crypto currency exchanges and prominent individuals. The targeted victims found their Twitter accounts had been hacked  in one of the most widespread attacks on the platform has ever seen.

The hackers took over the victims' accounts in an attempt to promote a bitcoin scam that would appear to be earning its creators a lot of money.

Twitter has confirmed it took the drastic step of blocking new tweets from every verified user, compromised or no, as well as locking all compromised accounts. Hacked accounts included President Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Kanye West, Michael Bloomberg and Apple Corp.

A first wave of attacks hit the Twitter accounts of prominent crypto currency leaders and companies. But the list of victims quickly broadened to include a Who’s Who of Americans in politics, entertainment and tech, in a major show of force by the hackers. Twitter Support tweeted that the posts soliciting crypto currency payments were part of a "coordinated social engineering attack" that successfully targeted Twitter employees with access to internal systems and tools.

Twitter quickly removed many of the messages, but in some cases similar tweets were sent again from the same accounts, suggesting that Twitter was powerless to regain control.

The scam has attracted the attention of the FBI who issued a statement saying "We are aware of today's security incident involving several Twitter accounts belonging to high profile individuals...The accounts appear to have been compromised in order to perpetrate crypto currency fraud. We advise the public not to fall victim to this scam by sending crypto currency or money in relation to this incident."

Twitter said that it immediately locked down the affected accounts and removed the tweets posted by the attackers while taking further action to prevent other verified accounts that had not shown evidence of being compromised from tweeting or changing their passwords.  

Twitter:       Coin Desk:       UPI:      CNN:        New York Times:      Snopes:       The Verge

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