On July 15th, scammers successfully took over several high-profile Twitter accounts to promote a cryptocurrency scam that promised to give double the bitcoin (BTC) back to whoever sends BTC to a “contribution” address. Twitter made several statements through its official support account that they took steps to limit access to internal tools while the investigation is ongoing, and also confirmed that Twitter employees were targeted by a coordinated social engineering attack. Reporting by Vice.com based on interviews with alleged members of criminal forums suggested that a Twitter employee had been bribed to assist with changing security options for accounts using Twitter’s internal “Admin Panel,” but Twitter has not confirmed this report. As of July 16th, the scammers had successfully collected over 12 BTC (nearly $110,000) on just one of the addresses used in the scam. The Twitter accounts of @Uber, @Apple, @Bitcoin, @BarackObama, @JeffBezos, @JoeBiden, @elon_musk, @BillGates, @WarrenBuffett, @kanyewest, @wizkhalifa, @coinbase, @Ripple, @Gemini, @binance, @justinsuntron, @Tronfoundation, and @SatoshiLite were all hijacked. In the case of Bill Gates and Elon Musk, the scammers stated that they would give double the amount of BTC that is sent. Twitter took the unusual step of temporarily preventing all verified accounts from tweeting and suspending password resets on accounts while it attempted to get the situation under control.
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