Share article:
Share article:

Major Twitter accounts hacked in mass Bitcoin scam

Credit: Belga

Some of Twitter’s major accounts, including those belonging to Bill Gates, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Elon Musk and Barack Obama, were temporarily hacked today in what Twitter called a “coordinated attack.”

The organisation added that hackers “successfully targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools.”

Hackers used the accounts to reach the combined Twitter audience of over 300 million followers with suspicious tweets. Each post referred to ‘giving back’ to ‘fans’, ‘the community’, or simply ‘everyone’. Followers were asked for a donation via a Bitcoin link. The scammers promised that the donated amount would then be doubled, and sent back to the follower.

Most tweets were taken down minutes later. It is currently unclear if hackers succeeded in scamming any users.

Other accounts hacked include those of Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Joe Biden, billionaire Mike Bloomberg, and the company Twitter accounts of Apple and Uber. All accounts involved were verified accounts, carrying a ‘blue tick’.

“Internally, we’ve taken significant steps to limit access to internal systems and tools while our investigation is ongoing. More updates to come as our investigation continues,” the Twitter support account posted.

The accounts were locked after the hack was discovered, and Twitter said it would grant access to the legitimate owners of the accounts “only when we are certain we can do so securely.”

Currently, all tweets posted by the hackers have been taken down, and the accounts were restored to their original state.

“Tough day for us at Twitter. We all feel terrible this happened,” the executive chief of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, tweeted in response to the hack.

Jack Dorsey is an avid investor in cryptocurrency himself, with some news services reporting that he spends around $10,000 a week on Bitcoin. Last month, Dorsey told business news outlet Quartz that “having a global currency,” like the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, will “allow companies like ours to move much faster and reach a lot more people.”

In the Netherlands, far-right politician Geert Wilders’ Twitter-account was taken over today in a seemingly unrelated hack. Wilders, who is famous for his anti-Moroccan sentiment, temporarily displayed a Moroccan flag on his profile.

Amée Zoutberg
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Covid-19 decisions made ‘too hastily’, socialist leader argues
The government is missing a "general lack of method" when it comes to how coronavirus fighting measures are decided on, according to the leader of ...
Aggression against railway staff more than doubled since 2020
In the first three quarters of 2021, the number of reports of aggression against national railway company SNCB's staff has more than doubled compared ...
Intervention hotline 1722 activated following bad weather warnings
Following bad weather warnings from Belgium's Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium (RMI), the Federal Public Service (FPS) Home Affairs has ...
Thousands march in Brussels to raise awareness of violence against women
More than 3,000 people took to the streets of Brussels on Sunday afternoon for a national march to raise awareness of violence against women in ...
Efficacy of vaccines against new variant known in a few weeks, virologist says
The efficacy of the current coronavirus vaccines against the new Omicron variant will be clear in one to two weeks, Belgian virologist Marc Van Ranst ...
Scientists could have communicated better during pandemic, survey shows
The majority of Flemish people continue to trust scientists, however, only half of them feel scientists communicated understandably during the ...
Closing borders and new travel restrictions: Countries react to Omicron variant
As more cases of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus are being reported across the world, more and more countries are imposing tougher travel ...
Several rush hour train services to be scrapped from Monday
Up to ten peak time trains to and from Brussels will be temporarily cancelled starting from Monday, Belgian railway company SNCB announced this ...
Europe’s largest vintage clothes store is in Ghent this weekend
Europe's largest pop-up store for second-hand clothes is once again setting up shop in Ghent on Sunday, offering more than five tonnes of vintage ...
Animal welfare in EU’s pig meat sector: What’s wrong?
EU has put into place legislation to ensure that animal welfare conditions are respected in its agricultural policy but the breaches of its ...
‘Not feasible’: Doctors refuse to follow new testing strategy
Doctors have warned they will not follow the government's adapted testing strategy which would see vaccinated people who were in close contact with a ...
Flanders introduces ‘invisible’ speed cameras
New digital speed cameras that are essentially invisible to the road user are being introduced on various roads and motorways in Flanders, Flemish ...