The accounts, as well as those of former President Barack Obama, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian West, Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos and Mike Bloomberg, posted similar tweets soliciting donations via Bitcoin to their verified profiles on Wednesday.
“Everyone’s asking me to give back, and now’s the time,” said Gates’ tweet, promising to double all payments to a Bitcoin address for the next 30 minutes.
In a tweet on Wednesday, the Twitter support account said, “We are aware of a security incident affecting the accounts on Twitter. We are investigating and taking action to remedy it. We will update everyone shortly. ”
Just over an hour after the attack began, Twitter apparently took steps to prevent verified account holders from tweeting. A CNN test showed that unverified accounts can still tweet. “
The large number of major accounts impacted made it arguably the largest security incident in the history of Twitter. A hack like this is of particular concern not only because of any financial scam that can be executed, but because many world leaders use Twitter – and some, like President Donald Trump, use it to announce major political decisions . A hack that took over an account belonging to one of these managers could have devastating consequences.
Last year, the account of Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, was hacked, which raises concerns about whether an account on the platform can really avoid being compromised. The mechanism by which this hack occurred was fixed by Twitter after the Dorsey hack and there is no reason to believe that it is to blame here.
A campaign assistant for Biden said that Twitter “locked” his account immediately. “We are keeping in touch with Twitter about this,” added the aide.
“We can confirm that this tweet was not sent by Bill Gates,” a Gates spokesperson told CNN Business. “This seems to be part of a larger problem that Twitter is facing. Twitter is aware and is working to restore the account. ”
When asked if she was concerned that the president’s account could be potentially affected or if she was in touch with Twitter about it, the White House declined to comment.
A few minutes after the tweets were posted, a Bitcoin account that appeared in some of them showed more than 320 transactions and received more than $ 113,000.
This is a developing story. Come back to find out more …
CNN’s Sarah Mucha contributed to this report.