A massive attack hit crypto Twitter on Wednesday as many prominent accounts began tweeting about a bitcoin giveaway. Soon it was apparent that the breach was much more serious when major corporations and famous people tweeted that they will double your bitcoin, including Apple, Google, Joe Biden, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Kanye West, Barack Obama, and Uber.
Major Attack on Crypto Twitter With Bitcoin Giveaway Scam
On Wednesday afternoon, the Twitter accounts of many well-known people and companies in the crypto space started tweeting about a bitcoin giveaway. The crypto community quickly noticed the scam and warned others not to send any bitcoin to the scammers. The Twitter account of Cryptowhale wrote:
Thousands of popular crypto pages have been hacked in a massive Twitter breach … Do not send your funds to anyone.
At press time, it appeared that the accounts that have been compromised include those of Binance, Bitcoin, Bitfinex, Litecoin creator Charlie Lee, Coinbase, Coindesk, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ), Gemini, Tron founder Justin Sun, Kucoin, Ripple, the Tron Foundation, and Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin. Most of them tweeted: “We have partnered with Cryptoforhealth and are giving back 5000 BTC to the community,” followed by the URL of the scam website.
The Cryptoforhealth scam website was quickly taken offline. Kristaps Ronka, CEO of Namesilo, the domain registrar used by the scammers, told Techcrunch that the domain was suspended “on the first report” the company received.
The Hack Goes Beyond Crypto Twitter, High-Profile Accounts Tweet About Bitcoin Giveaway Scam
The attack goes way beyond crypto Twitter as large corporations, their founders, CEOs, and high-profile people began tweeting about a similar bitcoin giveaway. They include the accounts of Apple, former U.S. president Barack Obama, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Cash App, Spacex and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Floyd Mayweather, Google, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, Kanye West, former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg, Mr. Beast, Uber, and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett.
Many accounts, including Jeff Bezos’, tweeted: “I have decided to give back to my community. All bitcoin sent to my address below will be sent back doubled. I am only doing a maximum of $50,000,000. bc1qxy2kgdygjrsqtzq2n0yrf2493p83kkfjhx0wlh Enjoy.”
This particular BTC address used by the scammers has raked in 12.862 BTC with a total value of about $118,495 at press time. The transactions can be tracked here.
Some accounts, including Barack Obama’s, tweeted: “I’m giving back to my community due to covid-19. All bitcoin sent to my address below will be sent back doubled. If you send $1,000, I will send you back $2,000 … Only doing this for the next 30 minutes. Enjoy.”
Most tweets were quickly deleted by the account owners. Some accounts, such as Elon Musk’s, made several tweets about the bitcoin scam after each was deleted. However, not all accounts affected were popular; there were some with about 10 followers tweeting about the same bitcoin scam.
How Did This Massive Security Breach Happen?
The sheer size of the security breach has many people speculate about how the attack happened. Many victims of the breach are still investigating the cause of the hack. Some speculate that the Twitter API has been compromised while several people say that hacked Twitter accounts did not have 2FA set up — but this theory was quickly disputed. “No way are all these accounts unprotected by strong passwords and TOTP 2FA,” famous crypto author Andreas Antonopoulos tweeted. Gemini Exchange co-founder Tyler Winklevoss affirmed: “we had 2FA enabled for Gemini. We are currently investigating [the] root cause.”
Malwaretech tweeted, “Hearing a lot of unconfirmed rumors a Twitter employee with access to the user management panel was hacked.” Antonopoulos added:
Given the accounts that got hacked more recently (Apple, Uber, Gates, Musk, etc), I am now leaning towards this being an internal compromise of a Twitter system, not an API attack from a social aggregator service.
After about eight hours, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey finally tweeted: “Tough day for us at Twitter. We all feel terrible this happened. We’re diagnosing and will share everything we can when we have a more complete understanding of exactly what happened.” Meanwhile, the price of bitcoin remains largely unaffected by the news of the hack, currently still stuck at around $9,200.
What do you think about this coordinated Twitter attack promoting bitcoin giveaways? Let us know in the comments section below.
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