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Gates, Musk and Bezos among those caught in massive Twitter hack

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Several high-profile accounts on Twitter have been hijacked by cryptocurrency scammers, including those of Kanye West, Apple, Barack Obama, Mike Bloomberg, Joe Biden, Uber, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates.

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The hackers’ tweets have since been deleted. Twitter said in an email that it was looking into the matter and would issue a statement shortly.

The cause of the breach on Wednesday was not immediately clear, but the scale and the scope of the problem suggested that it was not limited to a single account or service.

The scam involved a promise that users would double their money if they sent Bitcoin to a specific account. The hacked tweet from Bloomberg’s personal account, for example, said, “I am giving back to the community” and asked users to send $US1000 ($A1,424) in Bitcoin to receive $US2000 back with a link to send payments.

Some of the tweets were swiftly deleted but there appeared to be a struggle to regain control of the accounts. In the case of billionaire Telsa chief executive Elon Musk, for example, one tweet soliciting cryptocurrency was removed and, sometime later, another one appeared.

According to CNBC, the hackers’ message that was tweeted via Gates’ account read: “Everyone is asking me to give back, and now is the time. I am doubling all payments sent to my BTC address for the next 30 minutes. You send $1,000, I send you back $2,000.”

A Bitcoin account that was linked to from the hacked tweets had received over $US100,000 at the current exchange rate, according to Blockchain.com, although observers have noted that scammers sometimes seed their own accounts to appear legitimate.

Other Twitter accounts targeted in the co-ordinated attack included (at)itcoin, (at)coindesk, (at)coinbase and (at)binance, TechCrunch reported.

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