If you thought TikTok was the only app with major security issues, then you must not have been on Twitter today. On the afternoon of Wednesday, July 15, a host of verified Twitter accounts belonging to celebrities, politicians, and high-profile individuals including Jeff Bezos, Barack Obama, Michael Bloomberg, Joe Biden, Bill Gates, Kanye West, Wiz Khalifa, Elon Musk, and Kim Kardashian were hacked in a massive scam involving cryptocurrency. The hacked accounts tweeted a Bitcoin link, asking their followers to send them bitcoin and promising to either send back double the amount or donate in a short period of time. “I have decided to give back to my community,” read a tweet from Jeff Bezos’s verified account at 5:07 p.m. “All Bitcoin sent to my address below will be sent back doubled. I am only doing a maximum of $50,000,000.” The richest man in the world simply giving away 50 million dollars? Fat chance. The hackers even got into to Twitter Founder and CEO Jack Dorsey’s account, changing @Jack’s Twitter bio to “#bitcoin.” A nice reminder that truly nothing is safe.
Thankfully, the hacked celebrities (or rather their social-media managers) quickly deleted the bitcoin tweets, and Twitter soon caught wind of the scam, disabling tweets from verified accounts as it dealt with the security issue. @TwitterSupport acknowledged the hack in a thread, tweeting “we are aware of a security incident impacting accounts on Twitter. We are investigating and taking steps to fix it. We will update everyone shortly” before following up by announcing that some users “may be unable to Tweet or reset your password while we review and address this incident.” This led to a brief but wonderful ten-minute period where only non-verified people could tweet. See, having a blue check isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.