Several prominent Twitter accounts, including those of former US Vice President Joe Biden, former President Barack Obama, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, were compromised Wednesday in what appears to be a bitcoin scam.
The attack is likely the largest ever on Twitter’s security system and may have already cost users tens of thousands of dollars.
The accounts of several tech CEOs, including Musk, Gates and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, posted similar messages offering to double bitcoin payments sent to an address during a set period of time.
The posts all included the address of the same bitcoin wallet, which has seen as much as $112,000 pour into it over the last few hours. It is unclear if this money came from unsuspecting users or the scammers themselves.
Other major accounts that were hacked include companies such as Uber, Square’s Cash App and Apple.
Celebrities including Kanye West also posted similar messages, along with political figures such as Biden, Obama and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
All of the tweets have been deleted soon after being posted, but, given the size of the accounts, they have been viewed widely. While individual accounts are often hacked, especially ones that do not use security measures such as two-factor authentication, the scope of this effort suggests a deeper security failure.
Twitter support posted that “we are aware of a security incident impacting accounts on Twitter.”
“We are investigating and taking steps to fix it,” it continued. “We will update everyone shortly.”