Verified Twitter accounts blocked from posting after hackers use them to promote Bitcoin scam
Some verified Twitter accounts are not able to post tweets right now. The company says it is working to investigate and fix a major vulnerability that saw celebrities including Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Kanye West, and MrBeast of YouTube fame post bogus offers to give back double whatever Bitcoin deposit their followers put in.
The scam tweets started appearing around 1 p.m. PDT this afternoon. The messages are generally formatted to include a greeting or a gesture of generosity (some of them mention a partnership with CryptoForHealth, a website that looks to have been purpose-made for the operation and has since gone offline, but is available from the Internet Archive), then the offer to double any given Bitcoin deposit, followed by a BTC address — most of them contained the same one before a few other addresses were mixed in.
– Elon Musk, at least three times pic.twitter.com/sExdr83Rkt
— Paige Leskin (@paigeleskin) July 15, 2020
Reporters have logged 17 affected targets which include brands such as Apple and Cash App, politicians Barack Obama and Joe Biden, and cryptocurrency accounts Bitcoin and Coinbase. Most of the tweets have since been swept off the site.
The primary Bitcoin address involved in the debacle, which also appears to have been set up today, has logged over 350 transactions with a net gain of over $118,000 as of press time.
You may be unable to Tweet or reset your password while we review and address this incident.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 15, 2020
Twitter Support acknowledged the issue at 2:45 p.m. before implementing a widespread lockdown on tweets and password resets for verified accounts sometime after 3 p.m. Some accounts have since started to regain those capabilities, though Ars Technica’s Ron Amadeo says his verified account was blocked a second time. A Twitter spokesperson told TechCrunch that it is “looking into” the problem.
This story is developing.
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