Elon Musk and Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Kanye West have had their Twitter accounts targeted by hackers in a Bitcoin scam.
A tweet from Bill gates account said, “Everyone is asking me to give back.
“You send $1,000, I send you back $2,000.”
A spokesman for Bill Gates told AP news agency, “This appears to be part of a larger issue that Twitter is facing.”
Twitter said this was a “co-ordinated” attack which targeted their employees who have “access to internal systems and tools.
“We know they [the hackers] used this access to take control of many highly-visible (including verified) accounts and Tweet on their behalf.”
Dr Alexi Drew from King’s College London who is a cyber-security expert, told the BBC, “If you were to have this kind of incident take place in the middle of a crisis, where Twitter was being used to either communicate de-escalatory language or critical information to the public, and suddenly it’s putting out the wrong messages from several verified status accounts – that could be seriously destabilising.”
Chief executive Jack Dorsey tweeted, “Tough day for us at Twitter. We all feel terrible this happened.”
He added that his staff are “working hard to make this right.”
Some four hours after the hack, the social media platform said, “We detected what we believe to be a coordinated social engineering attack by people who successfully targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools.
“We know they used this access to take control of many highly-visible (including verified) accounts and tweet on their behalf.
“We’re looking into what other malicious activity they may have conducted or information they may have accessed and will share more here as we have it.
“Once we became aware of the incident, we immediately locked down the affected accounts and removed tweets posted by the attackers.”
Michael Borohovski, director of software engineering at security company Synopsys said, “It is highly likely that the attackers were able to hack into the back end or service layer of the Twitter application.
“If the hackers do have access to the backend of Twitter, or direct database access, there is nothing potentially stopping them from pilfering data in addition to using this tweet-scam as a distraction,” he added.