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Twitter Accounts of the Rich and Famous All Hacked at the Same Time

The victims include Barack Obama, Elon Musk, and Kanye West
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 15, 2020 5:40 PM CDT

(Newser) – Big-name Twitter accounts belonging to Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Elon Musk, Kanye West, and many others were hacked Wednesday in an elaborate cyberscam that relieved victims of over $110,000. Looks like crypto-scammers took over the accounts for more than two hours, posting tweets that urged people to send money to a particular Bitcoin address with the promise of a greater return, NBC News reports. "Everyone is asking me to give back, and now is the time," said a tweet from Bill Gates' account. "You send $1,000, I send you back $2,000." Some Twitter users identified the tweets as obvious frauds, but CNN Business reports that more than 320 transactions followed.

"We are aware of a security incident impacting accounts on Twitter. We are investigating and taking steps to fix it," Twitter said. "We will update everyone shortly." The story has already made history on multiple fronts: It's the first crypto-scam to use the actual accounts of public figures instead of fake accounts, per the New York Times, and looks like the biggest-ever attack on Twitter. Coindesk adds that at least some hacked accounts used two-factor authentication—including its own. Other victims include Michael Bloomberg, Warren Buffett, and several crypto-coin services. "We are lucky the attackers are going after bitcoin (money motivated) and not motivated by chaos and destruction," says cybersecurity expert Rachel Tobac in a text message. (Read more cyberattack stories.)

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