Twitter accounts of Billionaires Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Bill Gates are among many prominent US figures was hacked in an apparent Bitcoin scam.
The official accounts of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Kanye West also asking for donations in the cryptocurrency.
“Everyone is asking me to give back,” a tweet from Mr Gates’ account said. “You send $1,000, I send you back $2,000.”
“Tough day for us at Twitter. We all feel terrible this happened,” tweeted CEO Jack Dorsey late on Wednesday.
“We’re diagnosing and will share everything we can when we have a more complete understanding of exactly what happened,” said Mr Dorsey.
Password reset requests were also being denied and some other “account functions” disabled.
By 20:30 EDT (00:30 GMT Thursday) users with verified accounts started to be able to send tweets again, but Twitter said it was still working on a fix.
Dmitri Alperovitch, co-founder cyber-security company CrowdStrike, told Reuters news agency: “This appears to be the worst hack of a major social media platform yet.”
On the official account of Mr. Elon Musk, the Tesla and SpaceX chief account was offering double any Bitcoin payment sent to the address of his digital wallet “for the next 30 minutes”.
“I’m feeling generous because of Covid-19,” the tweet added, along with a Bitcoin link address.
The tweets were deleted just minutes after they were first posted.
But as such tweet from Musk’s account was removed, another one appeared, then a third.
In addition to rapper Kanye West, his wife, reality TV star Kim Kardashian, former US President Obama, Mr. Biden, the current Democratic presidential candidate, and media billionaire Mike Bloomberg, the big companies Uber and Apple were targeted.
The Biden campaign states that Twitter “blocked the account and removed the associated tweet within a few minutes of the violation.”
A spokesman for Bill Gates told AP news agency: “This appears to be part of a bigger problem that Twitter is facing.”
Cryptoforhealth is also a registered handle on Instagram, which apparently was set up at the same time as the hack.
The description of the profile was “We were it” next to a slightly smiling face emoticon.
The Instagram profile also posted a message titled, “It was a charity attack. Your money will go to the right place.”
Cameron Winklevoss, who was declared the world’s first Bitcoin billionaire in 2017 along with his twin brother Tyler, tweeted a message on Wednesday warning people not to participate in the “scam”
In the short time it was online, the link displayed in the tweets of targeted accounts received hundreds of contributions totalling more than $100,000 (£80,000), according to publicly available blockchain records.
The FBI’s San Francisco field office put out a statement on Wednesday about the latest cyber-breach.
“The accounts appear to have been compromised in order to perpetuate cryptocurrency fraud,” it said.
“We advise the public not to fall victim to this scam by sending cryptocurrency or money in relation to this incident.”
(Source – BBC)