Twitter blocks bitcoin addresses after hack
Billionaires Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Elon Musk were all targeted in the attacks, as well as politicians Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
Messages posted to their accounts requested cryptocurrency donations, promising to send back double the amount donated.
The Twitter accounts targeted were briefly suspended from posting on the platform but they have since been returned to their owners and are functioning normally again.
However, it seems to be no longer possible to include bitcoin addresses in tweets.
Attempts made by The Independent resulted in a message stating: “We’re sorry, we weren’t able to send your tweet.”
Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment over whether it had changed its policy regarding cryptocurrency addresses.
In a series of tweets following the hack, Twitter said the attack was the result of a “coordinated social engineering attack” by cyber criminals targeting employees who had access to internal systems. The firm stated: “We are investigating and taking steps to fix it.”
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey added: “Tough day for us at Twitter. We all feel terrible this happened. We’re diagnosing and will share everything we can when we have a more complete understanding of what happened.”
One Twitter discovered a workaround to the bitcoin address block. Jane Manchun Wong was able to post her bitcoin address by adding a single dot to the middle of the address.
It also appears possible to post a picture of a screenshot of a bitcoin address.
Twitter has been a target for bitcoin scammers for several years, though most previous attempts have involved impersonating prominent figures rather than directly taking over their accounts.
Security experts warned people to be vigilant online, particularly when presented with too-good-to-be-true offers involving cryptocurrency.
“The incident is a great reminder to always exercise caution when viewing messages on social media, no matter who posts them,” said George Glass, head of threat intelligence at UK-based cyber security firm Redscan.
“This is a serious breach and another prime illustration of how no organisation, including a Silicon Valley giant, is immune to cyber attacks.”