The accounts, along with those of former President Barack Obama, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian West, Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos and Mike Bloomberg, posted similar Tweets seeking Bitcoin donations to their verified profiles on Wednesday.
“Everyone asked me to go back, now it’s time,” Gates’s tweets said, and promised to double all payments to the Bitcoin address within the next 30 minutes.
A little over an hour after the attack began, Twitter appears to have acted to prevent verified account holders from Twitter. CNN testing showed that unverified accounts can still Twitter.
The sheer number of prominent accounts affected made him one of the largest security incidents in Twitter history. A breakthrough like this is particularly pertinent not just because of any managed financial scam, but because many world leaders use Twitter – and some, like President Donald Trump, use it to announce major policy decisions. The breakthrough that took account of one of these leaders could have devastating consequences.
Last year, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s account was hacked, raising concerns about whether any account on the platform could actually avoid a hack. The mechanism with which this hack occurred was fixed by Twitter after the Dorsey hack and there is no reason to believe that the blame is here.
A Biden campaign assistant said that Twitter “closed” his account immediately. “We are still in touch with Twitter on this issue,” the aide added.
“We can confirm that these tweets were not sent by Bill Gates,” a Gates spokesman told CNN Business. “This appears to be part of a larger problem that Twitter is facing. Twitter is aware and restoring the account.”
When asked if he was concerned about the President’s account likely being affected, or whether he was in contact with Twitter about this issue, the White House declined to comment.
Tim Cotten, a researcher at Bitcoin, CNN Business, told that the first Bitcoin wallet that appeared in some tweets only became active on Wednesday. In the hours immediately after the wallet ID was posted on Twitter, she received over $ 100,000 bitcoins through hundreds of transactions, Cotten said.
He added that some of that bitcoin was then transferred to other portfolios.
The apparent fraud also attracted the attention of the FBI.
“We are aware of the security incident today, which includes several Twitter accounts of prominent individuals,” the FBI’s San Francisco field office said in a statement. “Accounts seem to have been compromised to perpetuate cryptocurrency fraud. We advise the public not to fall victim to a scam by sending cryptocurrency or money in connection with this incident.”
Donny O’Sullivan, Sarah Mucha and Josh Campbell from CNN contributed to this report.