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Major US Twitter accounts hacked in Bitcoin scam

nahmus

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Looks like today was a fun day on the internet!

https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-53425822

Major US Twitter accounts hacked in Bitcoin scam
Billionaires Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates are among many prominent US figures targeted by hackers on Twitter in an apparent Bitcoin scam.

The official accounts of Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Kanye West also requested donations in the cryptocurrency.

"Everyone is asking me to give back, and now is the time," a tweet from Mr Gates' account said. "You send $1,000, I send you back $2,000."

The tweets were deleted just minutes after they were first posted.

Twitter took the extraordinary step of stopping many verified accounts marked with blue ticks from tweeting altogether.

There were reports that password reset requests were also being denied.

San Francisco-based Twitter later said most accounts would be able to tweet again, but the company was still "working on a fix".



Dmitri Alperovitch, who co-founded cyber-security company CrowdStrike, told Reuters news agency: "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," the tweet added, along with a Bitcoin link address.
Image copyright Twitter Image caption One of the hacked tweets from Elon Musk's account
One such tweet from Musk's account was deleted, only for another one to appear, then a third.
As well as rapper Kanye West, his wife, reality TV star Kim Kardashian, former US President Obama, Mr Biden, who is the current Democratic presidential candidate, and media billionaire Mike Bloomberg, major companies Uber and Apple were targeted.

The Biden campaign said Twitter had "locked down the account within a few minutes of the breach and removed the related tweet".

A spokesman for Bill Gates told AP news agency: "This appears to be part of a larger issue that Twitter is facing."
An unprecedented 'smash and grab'


These "double your Bitcoin" scams have been a persistent pest on Twitter for years but this is unprecedented with the actual accounts of public figures hijacked and on a large scale.

The fact that so many different users have been compromised at the same time implies that this is a problem with Twitter's platform itself.

Early suggestions are that someone has managed to get hold of some sort of administration privileges and bypassed the passwords of pretty much any account they want.

With so much power at their fingertips the attackers could have done a lot more damage with more sophisticated tweets that could have harmed an individual or organisation's reputation.

But the motive seems to be clear - make as much money as quickly as they can. The hackers would have known that the tweets wouldn't stay up for long so this was the equivalent of a "smash and grab" operation.

There are conflicting accounts of how much money the hackers have made and even when a figure is settled upon, it's important to remember that cyber-criminals are known to add their own funds into their Bitcoin wallets to make the scam seem more legitimate.

Either way, it's going to be very hard to catch the criminals by following the money. Law enforcement, as well as many angry users, will have some strong questions for Twitter about how this could have happened.
Cameron Winklevoss, who was declared the world's first Bitcoin billionaire in 2017 along with his twin brother Tyler, tweeted a message on Wednesday warning people not to participate in the "scam".

Skip Twitter post by @winklevoss
This is a SCAM, DO NOT participate! This is the same attack/takeover that other major crypto twitter accounts are experiencing. Be vigilant! Situation is ongoing.https://t.co/2k9U3PpnKm
— Cameron Winklevoss (@winklevoss) July 15, 2020

Report

End of Twitter post by @winklevoss





In the short time it was online, the link displayed in the tweets of targeted accounts received hundreds of contributions totalling more than $100,000 (£80,000), according to publicly available blockchain records.

The Twitter accounts targeted all have millions of followers.

Last year, Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey's account was hacked, but the company said it had fixed the flaw that left his account vulnerable.

The FBI's San Francisco field office put out a statement on Wednesday about the latest cyber-breach.

"The accounts appear to have been compromised in order to perpetuate cryptocurrency fraud," it said.

"We advise the public not to fall victim to this scam by sending cryptocurrency or money in relation to this incident."
 

jeeptj19992001

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nelson voice....haha
 

kf4zht

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Honestly with that group of accounts you could have made far more in the options market and some carefully crafted tweets vs a dumb bitcoin scam
 

Provience

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Honestly with that group of accounts you could have made far more in the options market and some carefully crafted tweets vs a dumb bitcoin scam

yeah no fooling. this is weird and the 1 or 2 people that got scammed :shaking: i dunno, just weird.
 

nahmus

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Honestly with that group of accounts you could have made far more in the options market and some carefully crafted tweets vs a dumb bitcoin scam

Doing something like that would really get the Gov on your ass. I doubt that they will do much to follow up on this.
 

Snowbird13

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yeah no fooling. this is weird and the 1 or 2 people that got scammed :shaking: i dunno, just weird.

I'm guessing that the digital wallet the hackers put on the accounts was their own, not bill gates, Elin musk, etc
 

Provience

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I'm guessing that the digital wallet the hackers put on the accounts was their own, not bill gates, Elin musk, etc

right, but it's amazing that anybody capable of figuring out how to turn on a computer/phone to interact with the internet would also think "hey, if i send $1k to bill gates, i'll get $2k back!"
 

Void_of_Light

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right, but it's amazing that anybody capable of figuring out how to turn on a computer/phone to interact with the internet would also think "hey, if i send $1k to bill gates, i'll get $2k back!"

Do you remember how many “Bill Gates is tracking this email and everyone who forwards it will get $500” emails you got back in the early 2000s? Half the people you know would have forwarded that. Another 25% would have if they knew how. People are dumb.
 

kf4zht

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right, but it's amazing that anybody capable of figuring out how to turn on a computer/phone to interact with the internet would also think "hey, if i send $1k to bill gates, i'll get $2k back!"

Not to mention figuring out the whole bitcoin wallet/broker thing. These kind of scams work on random seniors, Facebook basics and broke white trash. I don't see these people having a bitcoin wallet with over a grand. But maybe it works.

I still would be more in for shenanigans and making money off the response.
 

realsquash

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right, but it's amazing that anybody capable of figuring out how to turn on a computer/phone to interact with the internet would also think "hey, if i send $1k to bill gates, i'll get $2k back!"

I knew someone who sold their Harley on CL for twice what he was asking. All he had to do was send a Western Union for like $10k and they would send back $5k and come and pick up the bike. He fell for it and sent them the money. Not old, just stupid. People is dumb, don't you ever forget it.
 

Provience

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I knew someone who sold their Harley on CL for twice what he was asking. All he had to do was send a Western Union for like $10k and they would send back $5k and come and pick up the bike. He fell for it and sent them the money. Not old, just stupid. People is dumb, don't you ever forget it.

awesome :laughing:
 

vikingsven

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What are the chances that the real scam was to discredit Twitter itself?

The reason this thought jumped was due to this line from the article above: "The fact that so many different users have been compromised at the same time implies that this is a problem with Twitter's platform itself."
It's commonly known that Trump prefers to use Twitter to get his message out to his supporters. By damaging the platform, you undermine Trump's best way to reach his base. :tinfoil:
 

WaterH

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I knew someone who sold their Harley on CL for twice what he was asking. All he had to do was send a Western Union for like $10k and they would send back $5k and come and pick up the bike. He fell for it and sent them the money. Not old, just stupid. People is dumb, don't you ever forget it.

Please explain, the guy selling the bike sent money? Why would he do that? (Even if he was stupid)
 

Void_of_Light

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Please explain, the guy selling the bike sent money? Why would he do that? (Even if he was stupid)

The scam works the other way around. The scammer sends a fake check and tells them to deposit it and send half back. a week or so later the fake check is discovered and the sellers account is debited for the cost of the check, but the money sent to the scammer was real, and cant be recovered.
 

realsquash

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The scam works the other way around. The scammer sends a fake check and tells them to deposit it and send half back. a week or so later the fake check is discovered and the sellers account is debited for the cost of the check, but the money sent to the scammer was real, and cant be recovered.

This is exactly what it was. I thought he was the only one in the history of that very common scam to actually fall for it.
 

WaterH

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The scam works the other way around. The scammer sends a fake check and tells them to deposit it and send half back. a week or so later the fake check is discovered and the sellers account is debited for the cost of the check, but the money sent to the scammer was real, and cant be recovered.

Seems like they could be caught easily. (Not with bit coin) They must list an address. They must pick up the check at that address. I guess the cops are too busy to pursue.
 

Void_of_Light

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Seems like they could be caught easily. (Not with bit coin) They must list an address. They must pick up the check at that address. I guess the cops are too busy to pursue.

1. yes they are way too busy writing parking tickets to actually do any real investigations.
2. they already have the check in hand before the seller gets notified that the check is bad.
 

realsquash

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1. yes they are way too busy writing parking tickets to actually do any real investigations.
2. they already have the check in hand before the seller gets notified that the check is bad.

As long as the MICR is good they will cash the check. That's why a lot of banks won't cash out of town checks out here in the countryside, they have no way to actually verify them. They come back as bad only after a week or two when they have gone through the system.
 

junkytj

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As long as the MICR is good they will cash the check. That's why a lot of banks won't cash out of town checks out here in the countryside, they have no way to actually verify them. They come back as bad only after a week or two when they have gone through the system.

Yep. In the early days of that scam, my BIL got one of those checks, cashed it at one of those check cashing places for a fee, kept all the cash with none back to the scammer and had given the check cashing place a bogus ID. He ended up with around 7 or 8K out of that. :lmao: Most of his shenanigans are less successful. He's been incarcerated a few times. I doubt those scammers had any idea who they were dealing with. :laughing:
 

WaterH

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1. yes they are way too busy writing parking tickets to actually do any real investigations.
2. they already have the check in hand before the seller gets notified that the check is bad.

On #2, I ment the person has enough brains to know it's a scam and contacts the cops before sending his check

Yep. In the early days of that scam, my BIL got one of those checks, cashed it at one of those check cashing places for a fee, kept all the cash with none back to the scammer and had given the check cashing place a bogus ID. He ended up with around 7 or 8K out of that. :lmao: Most of his shenanigans are less successful. He's been incarcerated a few times. I doubt those scammers had any idea who they were dealing with. :laughing:

Your BIL ripped off the check cashing place, not the scammer. He should be in jail.
 

junkytj

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On #2, I ment the person has enough brains to know it's a scam and contacts the cops before sending his check



Your BIL ripped off the check cashing place, not the scammer. He should be in jail.

Yes. Go on and make a citizen's arrest Ken.
 
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