Several high profile Twitter accounts were hacked yesterday 15 July 2020 and used to promote a Bitcoin giveaway scam. Most of the victims were top cryptocurrency influencers including Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, Tron CEO Justin Sun, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong among others. Top cryptocurrency websites were also hacked and used for the same purpose.
The hackers offered to give back twice the amount of Bitcoin sent by any of the followers of the accounts. There are allegations that the attack was carried out with the help of a Twitter employee, but Twitter in an official statement said the employees were attacked first. A statement from Twitter’s official support handle reads:
“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.”
The hackers supposedly gained access to the Twitter tool and changed the email addresses connected to the accounts in order to frustrate any attempt by the real owners to recover the accounts. In a bid to restore order, Twitter prevented any more tweets from the accounts temporarily, during which period the account holders could not modify anything on the accounts.
Some key influencers in the crypto space have spoken concerning the hack. Including Tron’s Justin Sun. He said the incidence is just a reminder of the need to decentralize the web and social media as well to prevent such centralized attacks in the future. He also offered a $1 million bounty for tracking down the hackers.
Other accounts outside of crypto twitter that got hacked include that of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Microsoft Founder Bill Gates, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, billionaire investor Warren Buffett, Singer Kanye West and former United States President Barack Obama.
The hackers managed to scam the followers of these accounts out of over $100,000, less than what hackers had succeeded in getting from Elon Musk’s followers in a single scam. Just last month, scammers impersonated him and stole over $2 million from his followers. This may be an indication that people are becoming warier of scammers’ schemes, thanks to the awareness being spread by the crypto community.