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Twitter Hack Takes Down Joe Biden, Elon Musk Accounts in Widespread Bitcoin Scam Attack

Hackers pumping a crypto giveaway scam appear to have compromised the Twitter accounts of leading exchanges, individuals and at least one news org.

Jul 15, 2020 at 7:59 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 9:31 a.m. UTC

UPDATE: This is an ongoing situation. More has come to light. Click here for full coverage of the Twitter hack.

Hackers pumping a crypto giveaway scam appear to have compromised the Twitter accounts of leading exchanges, individuals and at least one news organization.

  • The unknown attackers tweeted identical messages promising that they were "giving back 5000 BTC ($45,889,950) to the community" on Wednesday afternoon from the accounts of Gemini, Binance, KuCoin, Coinbase, Litecoin's Charlie Lee, Tron's Justin Sun, Bitfinex, Ripple, Cash App, Elon Musk, Uber, Apple, Kanye West, Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg, Warren Buffett, Barack Obama and CoinDesk.
  • The messages prompted readers to claim their rewards at an included link associated with "Crypto For Health."
  • Changpeng Zhao, Binance's CEO, attempted to warn Twitter users that the Tweet was a scam within five minutes of the hack. But the attackers appear to have hidden his response and hacked him too.
  • Kucoin was also targeted in the hack. CoinDesk's account was as well.
  • Attempts to reach the hacked entities were not immediately successful.
  • At least some of the compromised accounts have multi-factor authentication enabled, including CoinDesk's.
  • The address linked to the scam appears to have received more than 11.3 BTC, or roughly $103,960.
  • Shares of Twitter fell as much as 3% in after-hours trading.

At least four exchanges appear to have been hacked.

DISCLOSURE

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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