Wilders hacked as Bitcoin scammers take over high profile Twitter accounts
Multiple major Twitter accounts were taken over by scammers asking for Bitcoin overnight. Victims include Bill Gates, Tesla founder Elon Musk, Michael Bloomberg, Kanye West, and Joe Biden. PVV leader Geert Wilders' Twitter account was also hacked, though it is not clear whether this was done by the same group.
Wilders' profile picture was replaced with a horrible caricature of a black man and his account has been retweeting conspiracy theories. So far no money has been asked for on his page.
The other hacked accounts were asking for Bitcoin. "I am giving back to the community. All Bitcoin sent to the address below will be sent back doubled! If you send $1,000 , I will send back $2,000. Only doing this for 30 minutes. Enjoy!" the tweets read. Most of them have since been removed from the hacked accounts, but screenshots can still be found online.
In addition to politicians and celebrities, the hackers also targeted big companies like Apple and Uber, and news agencies like NBC.
According to Twitter, the hackers gained access to Twitter employees who have access to the platform's internal systems. Through that they got access to the verified accounts and hijacked them.
Once Twitter became aware of the hack, it immediately locked down affected accounts and removed the tweets posted by the attackers, the company said. As a precaution, Twitter also limited the functionality of all verified accounts. "This was disruptive, but it was an important step to reduce risk." Access will be restored to original account holders "only when we are certain we can do so securely."
Internally, we’ve taken significant steps to limit access to internal systems and tools while our investigation is ongoing. More updates to come as our investigation continues.— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 16, 2020