Hackers promoting crypto scams took over a number of high-profile Twitter accounts Wednesday, including Bill Gates and Elon Musk, who has been a frequent target of would-be crypto scammers.
The attackers also gained access to Apple’s Twitter account, which has never sent a tweet.
The attacks appeared to be coordinated, with similar messages shared on multiple accounts. Musk’s account later replied to the previous tweet, referencing Gates. “Me and my brother Bill Gates are returning the favor today! Stay safe out there!”
Similar scams were tweeted from another of other high-profile accounts, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Kanye West and Uber.
Also targeted: accounts belonging to CoinDesk,Binance, Ripple, Gemini, and other figures well-known in the cryptocurrency world, though messages shared there were slightly different. A tweet posted to the account of Ripple promised “2,000 Ripple to random addresses that send over 1,000 Ripple to our Covid-19 Fund.” Other messages on targeted accounts, including Coinbase and Gemini, promoted a fictitious giveaway for “CryptoForHealth.”
Many of the messages were removed soon after being posted, with executives of affected companies tweeting out warnings not to fall for the scams.
It’s unclear how the hackers gained access to so many accounts. CoinDesk reports that many of the affected accounts, including its own, were using two-factor authentication.
ALL MAJOR CRYPTO TWITTER ACCOUNTS HAVE BEEN COMPROMISED.
2FA / strong password was used for @Gemini account. We are investigating and hope to have more information shortly. https://t.co/X3C0uJzc6C— Cameron Winklevoss (@winklevoss) July 15, 2020
Twitter didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the hacks.