Crypto Twitter hack targets celebrity accounts

What appears to be a large-scale coordinated attack on the Twitter accounts of multiple notable personalities and entities have resulted in posts pertaining to a mysterious Crypto For Health group

Image of hacker at computer
While the investigation is ongoing, users are advised to be vigilant about tweets that advertise the Crypto For Health entity

Yesterday, celebrities, politicians and public figures around the world, alongside major crypto entities and high-profile tech companies, were victims of a mass-coordinated Twitter account hack.

Celebrities and politicians that were affected include Bill Gates, Kanye West, Elon Musk, Joe Biden and former US president, Barack Obama. Uber, Apple, Binance, Coinbase, Gemini and CoinDesk were among the top tech companies that were also hacked.

The targeted accounts aroused suspicion when they began tweeting about a collaboration with an entity named Crypto For Health and included a link to its website.

The tweets made many members of the Twitter community suspicious because the same message template was used across multiple tweets; some even going so far as to urge other users to report the tweets to Jack Dorsey (CEO of the platform) and Twitter directly.

The tweets, masquerading as the personalities behind the accounts, encouraged users to collectively give 5,000 bitcoins (around $46,015,500) to help fund “partners in community healthcare”.

Attempts to trace the ownership of the URL have led authorities to a private individual residing in California, US. The man, whose identity has not been disclosed, had little to no public relationship with any of the victims, and was found to have attempted to solicit funds from members of the cryptocurrency community in the past.

The author of Mastering Bitcoin, Andreas M Antonopoulos, suggests that these attacks may have occurred with the help of a third-party application that the accounts used to manage tweets. This application may have been allowed access to the social media network’s API as a user with full credentials.

While the investigation is ongoing, users are advised to be vigilant about tweets that advertise the Crypto For Health entity, regardless of the influencer or the personality that has appeared to post about it.

In addition, this mass hack serves as a reminder for everyone on social media to be wary about the applications that are allowed access to their account.

There has been an increase in online criminal activity coinciding with the rise of the coronavirus pandemic, with new scams utilising misinformation about COVID-19.

Netizens are urged to keep a watchful eye on the organisations and solicitations they entertain, as well as to report any anomalies they suspect may be attempting to scam them.

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