Technology

Twitter accounts of Obama, Biden, Musk and others compromised

Several prominent Twitter accounts, including those of former Vice President Joe Biden, former President Obama, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, were compromised Wednesday in what appears to be a bitcoin scam.

The attack is likely the largest ever on Twitter’s security system and may have already cost users ten of thousands of dollars.

The accounts – which included other tech CEO’s including Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, celebrities such as Kanye West, and other political figures like former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg – posted similar messages offering to double bitcoin payments sent to an address during a set period of time.

The posts all included the address of the same bitcoin wallet, which has seen as much as $112,000 pour into it over the last few hours. It is unclear if this money came from unsuspecting users or the scammers themselves.

Other major accounts that were hacked include companies such as Uber, Square’s Cash App and Apple.

All of the tweets were deleted soon after being posted, but, given the accounts’ large followings, they have been viewed widely. While individual accounts – especially ones that do not use security measures such as two-factor authentication – are often hacked, the scope of this effort suggests a deeper security failure.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), a fervent critic of big tech companies, sent a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey raising concerns about the impacts of the platform being compromised.

“I am concerned that this event may represent not merely a coordinated set of separate hacking incidents but rather a successful attack on the security of Twitter itself,” he wrote. “As you know, millions of your users rely on your service not just to tweet publicly but also to communicate privately through your direct message service. A successful attack on your system’s servers represents a threat to all of your users’ privacy and data security.”

Twitter support posted that “we are aware of a security incident impacting accounts on Twitter.”

“We are investigating and taking steps to fix it,” it continued. “We will update everyone shortly.”

Verified accounts were briefly blocked from posting on Twitter later in the evening.

A spokesperson for Biden’s campaign told The Hill that Twitter locked down the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee’s account and removed the tweet “immediately following the breach.”

“We remain in touch with Twitter on the matter,” they added.

Updated: 6:43 p.m.

Tags Barack Obama Bill Gates Bitcoin Elon Musk Elon Musk Hacking Jeff Bezos Joe Biden Josh Hawley Kanye West Michael Bloomberg Twitter

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