Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s Twitter account gets hacked as part of massive crypto scam

Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s Twitter account, which is his preferred method of public communication, got hacked today as part of a massive crypto scam.

For years now, Musk’s popular Twitter account with more than 30 million followers has been a target of cryptocurrency scammers trying to make money off his followers by creating accounts that looks like his and responding to fans.

Today, it went a massive step further as Musk’s Twitter account appears to have been hacked as part of a massive global cryptocurrency scam that took over many accounts related to crypto.

The CEO’s account tweeted the following message to his followers:

Of course, the scam here is that it encourages people to send Bitcoin to the account, and the people behind the address have no intention of sending anything back, as the tweet claims.

A tracking of the blockchain shows that within minutes, several people sent thousands of dollars worth of Bitcoin to the account.

The hack seems to be far-reaching, with several accounts of crypto companies also being hacked and tweeting about giving back for COVID-19 through similar scams.

Bill Gates’ Twitter account was also hacked:

So many large accounts are affected that the hack might be at the Twitter system level.

It’s not the first time that Musk’s Twitter account has been hacked.

In 2015, Musk’s and Tesla’s Twitter accounts were hacked along with Tesla’s website, but in this instance, it was a target attacked on Musk and Tesla:

This time, it appears to be a wider-reaching hack that has nothing to do with Tesla or Musk, other than using the CEO’s reach on the platform.

Musk’s original tweet was deleted within a few minutes, but the hacker seemingly maintained control of the account, since several more tweets related to the scam were posted.

Electrek’s Take

This looks like a very sophisticated scam/hack.

Considering how many accounts are affected, I have to think that someone got access to Twitter’s actual network tools here.

By putting an hour time limit on it and using accounts like Musk’s and Gates’, they likely managed to secure thousands of transactions for people acting quickly without thinking.

Fortunately, it’s limited to people who actually own cryptocurrency, which I assume is not a large percentage of the Twitter user base.

The crazy part is that we are now almost an hour into this at the time of writing, and the hacker seems to still have control of Musk’s account. I don’t know why Twitter is not shutting down the account altogether at this point.

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