Hackers may have fooled Twitter users into sending them more than $120,000 in a massive scheme that shook the site Wednesday after taking over hundreds of high-profile accounts.
The scam began after hackers stole accounts from famous people and companies like Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Jeff Bezos, Apple, Uber, Elon Musk and Kanye West.
They tweeted links to Bitcoin addresses and told people they would match their donations and hundreds of people agreed to send money though it would be difficult to confirm whether the transactions were valid.
Finally Twitter intervened by limiting the ability of some accounts to post in an effort to mitigate the damage.
Hackers on Wednesday brought Twitter through a storm, hijacking hundreds of accounts and potentially making off with over $120,000 in the process.
The hackers took over the accounts of a long list of high-profile individuals and companies including: Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Kanye West, Michael Bloomberg, Apple, Uber, and other big exchanges for cryptocurrencies.
The hacked accounts then tweeted messages saying they “give back to their communities and match any donations made to various wallets for scam cryptocurrency.
From there, in just a few hours, hundreds of people decided to take the bait one wallet address shared widely earned over 350 transactions. By apparently compromised accounts, Business Insider identified at least three wallets listed in tweets, but it’s not clear that those were the only ones that received money.
Furthermore, not every transaction sent to those wallets is actually the product of people being duped by Twitter scam Wednesday. Hackers also flood cryptocurrency accounts artificially with money ahead of time to make them appear more real, so the account balances will overestimate how much the scam yielded.
Because of the cryptocurrency’s anonymous nature, it would likely be hard to decide how much money hackers actually made off with.
Twitter eventually stepped in on Wednesday afternoon in an attempt to mitigate the damage, tweeting that it was “conscious of a security incident affecting Twitter accounts and” investigating and taking measures to repair it.
Shortly afterwards, several confirmed users including some vital government and emergency services reported being briefly unable to tweet at all, and Twitter eventually followed up with an update at 7:15 pm ET stating it had limited the ability of some accounts to post.