Hackers take over Twitter accounts of Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Barack Obama to make Rs 89 lakh

In a series of attacks on Twitter, hackers took over several prominent verified user accounts earlier today. The official accounts of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, former US President Barack Obama along with major brands such as Uber, Apple were hacked.

The cyberattack was part of the widespread Bitcoin scam. Hackers used these high-profile verified accounts to send out tweets trying to dupe people into donating money to their Bitcoin cryptocurrency wallets. Twitter has promptly blocked access to these accounts and started investigating the matter.

All the tweets contained a similar set of messages. The tweets were crafted to lure the users to donate bitcoin, promising double returns. Twitter has removed all such posts. A tweet from Bit Gates’ account states, “Everyone is asking me to give back. You send $1,000, I send you back $2,000.”

The tweets contained bitcoin wallet addresses that belonged to an organisation called CryptoForHealth. The web address where the tweets redirected users is registered by a cyber attacker with profile name ‘Anthony Elias’, and email address ‘[email protected]’.

Twitter is investigating the issue and fixing it. The company has restored most of the affected accounts. However, some of the compromises accounts are still locked by the social media giant.

The company said that the hack is a result of coordinate social engineering attack that targeted some of its employees who have access to internal systems and tools. In an official tweet, the company said, “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. Internally, we’ve taken significant steps to limit access to internal systems and tools while our investigation is ongoing.”

The sole motive behind the attack was to make the most money as quickly as possible. When the bitcoin wallet addresses mentioned in the tweets are checked on Blockchain.com, it suggests that hackers have already received 373 transactions so far. The hackers have managed to make $118,300 (Rs 89 lakh). Most of the money was sent by the users in the US, Europe and Asia.