On Wednesday afternoon, the Twitter accounts of notable billionaires including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Tesla founder Elon Musk, rapper Kanye West, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg were hacked. Politicians’ accounts, including Joe Biden and Barack Obama, were also affected soon after. “I am giving back to the community,” the tweets read. “All Bitcoin sent to the address below will be sent back doubled!” The link to the Bitcoin wallet is consistent throughout all the tweets, suggesting a cryptocurrency scam.
The bulk of the messages have been deleted, though screenshots remain of several affected accounts:
The hack is a significant breach of a major tech company’s privacy systems, and expanded beyond its initial wave of billionaires, cryptocurrency figures, and politicians to include influencers (MrBeast), major companies (Apple, Cash App, Wendy’s), athletes (Floyd Mayweather), and joke accounts (God). According to several tech reporters following the breach, the plan appears to be working:
Twitter has understatedly acknowledged the problem, while the Biden campaign stated that the platform locked his account immediately after the breach, and removed the tweet. As part of Twitter’s effort to solve the problem, verified accounts were restricted from tweeting for several periods on Wednesday night.
This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.