Hackers compromised dozens of high-profile Twitter Inc. accounts late Wednesday in an attempted cryptocurrency heist, and the site appeared to be spending the afternoon taking them down.
One of the first suspect tweets came from the Twitter account of Tesla Inc. TSLA, +1.92% Chief Executive Elon Musk, who is known for his often-colorful tweets.
It read: “Feeling greatful [sic], doubling all payments sent to my BTC address! You send $1,000, I send back $2,000! Only doing this for the next 30 minutes.” The tweet, one of many from Musk’s account that were rendered inactive soon after being posted, listed a link to a bitcoin BTCUSD, -0.00% account.
From there, the list of compromised accounts grew into a veritable Who’s Who on Twitter. The company put out a statement, saying “We are investigating and taking steps to fix it.” Verified Twitter users appeared to be unable to post to the site after 3 p.m. Pacific time Wednesday, more than two hours after the tweets began.
Shares of Twitter TWTR, +3.75% sank 4.1% after hours, following a 3.8% rise to close the regular session at $35.67. A decline of that magnitude would wipe away more than $1 billion from Twitter’s market capitalization.
Other Twitter accounts that were compromised include Microsoft Corp. MSFT, -0.14% founder Bill Gates, Apple Inc.’s AAPL, +0.68% account that had never before posted a tweet, Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s BRK.A, +0.26% BRK.B, +0.44% Warren Buffett, Amazon.com Inc.’s AMZN, -2.43% Jeff Bezos, musician Kanye West, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama, as well as former presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg.
Uber Technologies Inc. UBER, +6.07% said its corporate account was hit as well, and posted a statement to Twitter.
As with the Musk tweets, Twitter appeared to take the scam tweets down moments after they went up.
According to CoinDesk, Twitter accounts for cryptocurrencies and crypto influencers such as Gemini, Binance, KuCoin, Coinbase, Litecoin’s Charlie Lee, Tron’s Justin Sun, bitcoin, Bitfinex, Ripple, Cash App, and CoinDesk, were also compromised. BitTorrent also confirmed the hacks and said it was working with Twitter to return its accounts to normal.