Elon Musk’s Twitter account was apparently hijacked today following a series of attacks on cryptocurrency-related accounts, including major exchanges such as Binance, and U.S.-based Coinbase, and Gemini. Other handles compromised included the @Bitcoin Twitter account.
Musk’s account pinned a tweet to his feed at 4:17pm ET which suggested that the entrepreneur would double any Bitcoin sent to a wallet address.
Musk has, in the past, discussed cryptocurrencies on his Twitter feed, suggesting that he owns 0.25 Bitcoins.
Scammers have been known to use this technique to dupe Bitcoin owners into sending irreversible transactions to a digital wallet.
Bill Gates’ account was also targeted as the attack continued. While the attackers initially concentrated on crypto-native accounts, they expanded to technology leaders including Jeff Bezos of Amazon, and then to celebrities like Kanye West.
After ten minutes, the wallet address that was posted on Musk’s account already contained 3.64 Bitcoins, worth $34,498 at the time of writing. Prior to Musk’s account being hacked, the wallet had only received 0.6527 Bitcoins after being posted on the hacked accounts of numerous exchanges.
Numerous other accounts within the cryptocurrency space had already been accessed by the apparent hack, including the largest exchanges in the space. Binance and Coinbase have 2.2 million Twitter followers between them, although Musk’s account is an order of magnitude larger, with 36.9 million followers.
While the original tweet was soon deleted, a new version popped up again within seconds, suggesting that the attack was ongoing.
Felipe Erazo contributed reporting to this story.
This is a developing story and will be updated.