Early in the afternoon (Eastern time) on July 15th, a hacker — or hackers — gained control of a series of Twitter accounts owned by Bitcoin enthusiasts, executives and exchanges. Upon gaining control of those accounts, the hackers tweeted messages to those accounts’ audiences claiming that they would be “giving 5000 BTC back to the community” and directing users to cryptoforhealth.com. People who visited the now-defunct website were told that if they sent Bitcoin to a specified address, they would receive double the amount in return, plus a bonus if contributions exceeded a certain threshold.
After the hackers had spread the message from multiple Bitcoin-related Twitter accounts, they went big. The first major account to be breached appears to be Elon Musk’s, followed in short order by Bill Gates, Uber, Apple, Kanye West, Jeff Bezos, Mike Bloomberg, Joe Biden and former president Barack Obama, among others.
Most of these accounts tweeted some variant of the same message: If someone were to send Bitcoin to the address specified in the tweets during a 30-minute window, the account owner would return double the amount.