[UPDATED] Twitter Crypto Scam Hack Explained

In tweets and memes, of course.



Last night local time, prominent and verified Twitter accounts from personal and corporate accounts started tweeting asking users to send them Bitcoin and that users would then receive twice the amount they sent.

“I’m feeling generous because of Covid-19. I’ll double any BTC payment sent to my BTC address for the next hour. Good luck, and stay safe out there!”

This was clearly a crypto scam.

Also, billionaires getting philanthropic was a red flag for some people.

The hackers got access to accounts belonging to Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Kim Kardashian, Apple, CashApp, Kanye West, Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Uber, Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos, Benjamin Netanyahu and Mike Bloomberg.

Users on Twitter quickly tweeted that Twitter should shut down the platform.

Twitter finally tweeted a statement that they were investigating.

Most users thought that the hacked accounts didn’t implement 2-factor authentication on their handles but that was not the case.

Rumours started floating around

Twitter took a necessary step and blocked all 359,000 verified accounts from tweeting. Verified accounts had to go back to their alt accounts to tweet including media accounts that had to post updates and retweet them on their official handles.

For a while, the unverified reigned.

Later on, Twitter allowed some verified users to return back to tweeting.

What Exactly Happened Then?

According to Vice, multiple sources in or around the criminal world provided screenshots of an internal Twitter panel they say is linked to the account takeovers.

Twitter was then removing the images posted on its platform and suspending users who tweeted them out.

In all, four sources close to or inside the underground hacking community provided Motherboard with screenshots of the user tool.

Twitter confirmed this.

Techcrunch reports that a hacker by the name Kirk had access to the internal panel on Twitter that let them take over control of users accounts.

“Send me @’s and BTC,” referring to Twitter usernames and cryptocurrency. “And I’ll get ur shit done.” reads several screenshots of a Discord chat shared with TechCrunch.

The severe disruption to one of the world’s largest social media platforms also highlighted its importance to everyday civic functions.

It scary now that we know anyone can take over these prominent accounts. What happens when other malicious actors other than bitcoin scammers take over – the striking potential of Twitter to incite real-world chaos through impersonation and fraud.

Twitter reports that the hack targetted 130 user accounts. They didn’t specify if Direct messages were compromised too.

Twitter has temporarily disabled the “Download my Data” feature for everyone.

Authorities such as the FBI and the US Senate Commerce Committee have opened an investigation into the Wednesday hack and the committee has asked Twitter to brief them next week.

The FTC is also likely to begin investigations.

This is a developing story, we’ll keep updating it with new information once it becomes available.

What they are saying:

Here’s How to Protect Your Privacy and Stay Secure on Twitter