Twitter accounts of Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Joe Biden, Barack Obama hit by hackers

Twitter confirmed it is investigating the coordinated hack, which attacked the accounts of some of the richest and most popular names on Twitter and apparently reaped more than $100,000.
Twitter confirmed it is investigating the coordinated hack, which attacked the accounts of some of the richest and most popular names on Twitter and apparently reaped more than $100,000.
Alastair Pike/AFP via Getty Images

Updated: 5:41 p.m.

The Twitter accounts of some of the richest and most famous people on the social media platform, including Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Kanye West and others have been attacked in what appears to be a large-scale and coordinated cryptocurrency hack.

A spokeswoman for Twitter confirmed the incidents to NPR, saying Twitter is investigating and taking steps to remove the posts. Twitter said that users may be unable to Tweet or reset their passwords "while we review and address this incident."

One of the first high-profile accounts to share the scam was Bill Gates' Twitter page.

Bill Gates hacked tweet
Twitter/Screenshot by NPR

"Everyone is asking me to give back and now is the time," the hackers wrote from Gates' account. "I am doubling all payments sent to my BTC address for the next 30 minutes. You send $1,000, I send you back $2,000."

Twitter removed the tweet, but it would re-appear. Identical tweets, and a similar whack-a-mole response from Twitter, then was seen on the account of Elon Musk and other celebrities, entertainers and politicians.

According to a public record of transactions tied to the Bitcoin scam, Bitcoin worth about $113,000 U.S. dollars has been received through the link provided in the scam.

Bitcoin investor Cameron Winklevoss warned his followers about the hack after the account of the company he co-founded, Gemini, was compromised in the attack, along with a number of other cryptocurrency accounts.

"This is a SCAM, DO NOT participate!" Winklevoss wrote. "Be vigilant! Situation is ongoing."

Winklevoss said the security breach came despite Gemini using a "strong password" and two-factor authentication, a two-step process intended to guard against potential hacks.

It is not yet clear what person or group is behind the hacks.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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