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KIU Business Desk: Bitcoin Scam Hackers Attack Major US Twitter Accounts


By Rogers Wanambwa 

KIU, Main Campus - "Everyone is asking me to give back. You send $1,000, I send you back $2,000," read a tweet from the official account of Bill Gates. 

Gates and other prominent people's accounts were simultaneously attacked by “Bitcoin scam” hackers, according to Twitter. These included former US president Barack Obama, Kim Kardashian, US Presidential candidate Joe Biden, Kanye West, and other US billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk. 

In a series of tweets by the company, Twitter said they addressed the issue. 

 “We know they [the hackers] used this access to take control of many highly-visible (including verified) accounts and Tweet on their behalf,” Twitter said.

According to Wikipedia, sources believe that the perpetrators had gained access to Twitter's administrative tools so that they could alter the accounts themselves and post the tweets directly, with the access gained either possibly through paying off Twitter employees to use the tool, or from a compromised employee's account to access the tool directly

In a bid to curtail the problem, Twitter had to stop quite a number of verified accounts which were marked with blue ticks to stop tweeting entirely. Password reset requests were also being denied and some other "account functions" disabled. 

Cryptocurrency fraud is not unique to the Western World. In December 2019, Daily Monitor reported that Uganda Police had arrested a Director of Dunamiscoin Resources Limited, a cryptocurrency company, for defrauding Ugandans of money worth 10 billion shillings in a cryptocurrency scam.

What is a cryptocurrency?

A cryptocurrency is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange. It typically does not exist in physical form like paper money and is typically not issued by a central authority. Cryptocurrencies typically use decentralized control as opposed to centralized digital currency and central banking systems.

Picture credit: Investopedia