The FBI launched an investigation into a massive Twitter hack that compromised accounts with significant followings.
The federal agency on Thursday confirmed an investigation into the incident, during which scammers collected more than $100,000 in bitcoin by hacking prominent accounts, including those of former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, billionaires Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, and others.
“At this time, the accounts appear to have been compromised in order to perpetuate cryptocurrency fraud,” the FBI’s San Francisco’s office told Axios in a statement. “We advise the public not to fall victim to this scam by sending cryptocurrency or money in relation to this incident. As this investigation is ongoing, we will not be making further comment at this time.”
The scam, which occurred on Wednesday afternoon, instructed Twitter users to send cryptocurrency to a specific Bitcoin address, promising they would receive double in return. Large companies such as Uber and Apple were affected, as well as prominent figures including rapper Kanye West, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and others.
“I am giving back to my fans,” read one scam tweet from West’s account. “All Bitcoin sent to my address below will be sent back doubled. I am only doing a maximum of $10,000,000. (Address redacted) Only going on for 30 minutes!”
On Wednesday night, Vice reported that a Twitter insider provided hackers with access to an internal tool used by the company to hijack the accounts. A Twitter spokesperson said that the company is still investigating whether the employee personally hijacked the accounts or gave the scammers access.
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