Massive Twitter Hack Hits Buffett, Bezos, Musk and More

A number of verified Twitter accounts, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Warren Buffett, appear to have been hacked in a widespread Bitcoin scam.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A number of high-profile Twitter (TWTR (opens in new tab)) accounts were the subject of a massive hack Wednesday afternoon in what appears to be a Bitcoin scam targeting verified users.

At 4:17 p.m., the account of Tesla (TSLA (opens in new tab)) CEO Elon Musk tweeted out a message asking people to send him a payment in Bitcoin, and in return, he would return double that amount: “I‘m feeling generous because of Covid-19. I’ll double any BTC payment sent to my BTC address for the next hour. Good luck, and stay safe out there!”

The tweet was deleted minutes later, but it was replaced by another similar one:

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Over the next hour, a number of other major accounts were targeted, including Microsoft (MSFT (opens in new tab)) founder Bill Gates, who tweeted out a message with the same Bitcoin wallet address as the second Musk tweet.

Among the other accounts that appear to have been hacked:

  • Former President Barack Obama
  • Presidential candidate Joe Biden
  • Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B (opens in new tab)) CEO Warren Buffett
  • Amazon.com (AMZN (opens in new tab)) CEO Jeff Bezos
  • Rapper Kanye West
  • Boxer Floyd Mayweather
  • The official Apple (AAPL (opens in new tab)) Twitter handle
  • Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg
  • Digital currency exchange Coinbase

Twitter has written on its support account that "We are aware of a security incident impacting accounts on Twitter. We are investigating and taking steps to fix it. We will update everyone shortly."

The company reportedly stopped verified accounts from being able to tweet as it investigated the situation.

Later Thursday, Motherboard reported (opens in new tab) that, according to leaked screenshots and a pair of anonymous sources, a Twitter insider gave the hackers access.

"We used a rep that literally done all the work for us," one source told Motherboard.

Twitter later confirmed that they thought insiders facilitated the attack.

"We detected what we believe to be a coordinated social engineering attack by people who successfully targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools," the company tweeted. "We know they used this access to take control of many highly-visible (including verified) accounts and Tweet on their behalf. We’re looking into what other malicious activity they may have conducted or information they may have accessed."

Users of the social media platform are strongly advised not to send payments to any wallet addresses seemingly associated with the Twitter hack.

TWTR shares were down 3% in after-hours trading in response to the developing event.

Kyle Woodley
Senior Investing Editor, Kiplinger.com

Kyle is senior investing editor for Kiplinger.com. As a writer and columnist, he also specializes in exchange-traded funds. He joined Kiplinger in September 2017 after spending six years at InvestorPlace.com, where he managed the editorial staff. His work has appeared in several outlets, including U.S. News & World Report and MSN Money, he has appeared as a guest on Fox Business Network and Money Radio, and he has been quoted in MarketWatch, Vice and Univision, among other outlets. He is a proud graduate of The Ohio State University, where he earned a BA in journalism.