Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos had their Twitter accounts hacked on Wednesday evening in an apparent cryptocurrency giveaway scam.
Other accounts including Mike Bloomberg, Joe Biden, Apple, Uber, Square’s CashApp, and Coinbase were also hacked.
Remember when your mom warned you staying up for long on your smartphones will ‘kill you someday’
This tame prophecy seems to be coming though all of a sudden as Twitter followers of Bill Gates and Elon Musk speculated that their accounts been hacked on Wednesday, as a series of tweets dangled a bitcoin giveaway that looked too good to be true.
I mean who could believe we could have a day when the entire bigwigs in the tech ecosystem will come together to “give back to the community”? It’s happening!
We don’t know how it’s happened with reports also speculating Twitter’s own systems may have been compromised. The hack however, is ongoing, with new tweets posting to verified accounts on a regular basis starting shortly after 4PM ET.
How it all began…
It all started off when Elon Musk’s Twitter account was seemingly compromised by a hacker intent on using it to run a bitcoin scam. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates also had his account seemingly accessed by the same scammer, who posted a similar message with an identical bitcoin wallet address.
It was preceded by another quickly deleted tweet from Musk which said he was “feeling generous because of Covid-19.”
Both accounts are continuing to post new tweets promoting the scam almost as fast as they are deleted.
Though a spokesperson for Gates Teddy Schleifer, was seconds late in reporting the Heist from another account – “We can confirm that this tweet was not sent by Bill Gates. This appears to be part of a larger issue that Twitter is facing. Twitter is aware and working to restore the account.”
No doubting the major damage has already been with reports up to $10M worth of Bitcoin has been transferred already.
Shortly after the initial wave of tweets from Gates and Musk’s accounts, the accounts of Apple, Uber, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, hip-hop mogul Kanye West, and former New York City mayor and billionaire Mike Bloomberg, among others, were also compromised and began promoting the scam.
Though it’s still unclear how widespread the operation is, but it appears to be affecting major companies and extremely high-profile individuals.
Suggestions are flying all over the internet views someone might have either found a severe security loophole in Twitter’s login process or third-party app, or that the perpetrator has somehow gained access to a Twitter employee’s admin privileges.
The origin of the scam appears to be when Musk’s account issued a mysterious tweet at 4:17PM ET reading, “I‘m feeling generous because of Covid-19. I’ll double any BTC payment sent to my BTC address for the next hour. Good luck, and stay safe out there!” The tweet also contained a bitcoin address, presumably one associated with the hacker’s crypto wallet.
The tweet posted to Gates’ account echoed the last Musk tweet, with an identical BTC address attached. It was also deleted shortly after posting, only for a similar message to take its place.
Moving on, Square’s Cash App appears to be one of the other company accounts compromise. However, it’s not clear if the culprit is the same or a different group as the tweet contained a different BTC address than the ones posted to the other accounts.
In addition to the Cash App, popular crypto Twitter accounts, including those of Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss’ Gemini cryptocurrency exchange and widely used wallet app Coinbase, were also compromised. Cameron Winklevoss claims the Gemini account was protected by two-factor authentication and used a strong password, and the company is now investigating how it was hit.
American presidential candidate and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos were also hacked
Apple’s official Twitter account alongside Uber’s also sent in same tweets:
What has Twitter said so far?
While majority of the accounts taken over has moved swiftly to inform the public about the ongoing heist though their support channels, Twitter however, is yet to make any official statement on what’s going on and how it came to be.
A Twitter spokesperson said “we’re looking into this.” The company will share a statement soon. We’ll update the story as we learn more.
More than $100,000 had been funneled to the bitcoin address included in the tweets.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey last year had his account taken over by a group of hackers calling themselves #ChucklingHella. The account immediately went on to tweet out the N-word in all caps before adding: “intel is there’s a bomb at Twitter HQ.” Twitter stock was down more than 3% in after-hours trading.
All this however, have once again brought the issue of cybercrime and its consequences to the limelight. Though the deed has already been done, humanity can’t keep any bargains no more about user security especially with new smart tech and homes evolving each day.
This is the Photographer behind the viral Image that crashes your Android Smartphones
We announced Sony’s reveal of the PlayStation 5 last week but seems some individuals will be have a budget rethink all the same after a reported Image shared on Flickr crashed hundreds of Android smartphones.
San Diego-based scientist Gaurav Agrawal has emerged as the photographer behind the controversial image that caught headlines for crashing many Android phones recently.
Just like many freelance photographer would do, Agrawal took that image at Saint Mary Lake in Glacier National Park, Montana, back in August last year of a sunset landscape which he later uploaded on Flickr without knowing the fact that it would become viral — for just about all the wrong reason.
Who is Gaurav Agrawal
Indian-origin photographer. He started his journey with landscape photography as a hobbyist — perhaps by hijacking what was initially the interest of his wife.
He got his first camera phone as the instrument to capture scenes in his frames back in 2006. But that was just a beginning.
Afterwards, he got his Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru, has been selected as a part of National Geographic photo assignments. He said that one of the photographs he took at the Salton Sea of the Great White American Pelicans was even selected as the cover page of the yearly calendar of the Audubon Society of North America.
Furthermore, he has won various photo competitions earlier, including one at the University of California, San Diego, where he did his post-doctoral work.
But then, his smartphone crashing image might just have skyrocketed his popularity in the tech world with renowned YouTubers and major tech sites all detailing on his beautiful and awesome-esque image.
What image did Agrawal upload to Flickr?
Just as we stated above, the image was of a Lake in Glacier National Park, Montana captured using a Nikon DSLR and uploaded on Agrawal’s Flickr profile on September 16, 2019.
However, before sharing publicly, he explained on Flickr that he used the image editing tool Adobe Lightroom through which he changed the format to ProPhotoRGB.
Before you get super confused on what ProPhotoRGB Image formatting is and probably asking yourself
According to PetaPixel, ProPhotoRGB is a newer color space and default work extension for Adobe Lightroom edits that has a much wider gamut than normal sRGB and is
more in line with modern digital cameras.
Smartphones won’t even be able to decode and display the colours…
However, sRGB has a relatively narrow gamut but is designed for consistency and compatibility for all photos shared on the Web.
This ProPhotoRGB image extension isn’t supported by some Android devices and, thus, resulted in issues with several phones.
What has Agrawal said about the recent developments to his photograph?
No doubt, the crashes with that single photo have ultimately made Agrawal to switch to another format from now on but he had a lot to say to the public on his controversial image.
However, people weren’t even aware that the image was captured by Agrawal until he gave an interview to BBC earlier last week.
He told Indian news site, Gadgets 360, that the original source of the image wasn’t public as it was mainly shared by a third-party wallpaper site that didn’t credit him and was circulating the image without any due credits.
Agrawal told Indian news site Gadgets 360 that he got to know about the crashes users faced from his image from some of his followers on Flickr.
After receiving comments and messages on the platform, he searched the term “Android crashing wallpaper” on
Google to understand the issue.
“I would have been very disappointed if something like that would happen to me,” he said. “There were some websites touting conspiracy theories that it may be a targeted attack by China or Russia.
In the midst of a trade row between the United States and the Chinese, this made it even more unsettling.
“It was alarming to say the least,” Agrawal, 41, told Gadgets 360 in a conversation. “I felt sympathetic to people who may have lost their data and photographs due to the crash.”
The crashes with that single photo have ultimately made Agrawal to switch to another format from now on.
Furthermore, he’s planning to expand his photography reach by joining Instagram — alongside maintaining his Flickr profile that has over 10,600 followers.
“I deeply care about my viewers and look forward to their appreciation as well as constructive criticism,” he said.
Though iOS devices were not affected, they always seem to have their way
The accidental Android crashing wallpaper issue could have escalated quickly had conspiracy theorist been allowed to have their way.
However, if you find yourself amongst the crew that went ahead to check out the photo on your smartphones, you now have a new tech budget to handle.
Covid-19 Cyber attacks Spike as Health sectors battle Hackers: Here’s how to stay safe
The world continues to battle the deadly Covid-19 pandemic also called Coronavirus as many sectors and companies encourage their staffs to work from home.
Office workers who usually don’t have much time for their social networks and mass random messages now have ample time to go through their devices and computers and even see a few movie series.
Ironically, this is possible as individuals cling to the only thing that could help them communicate with the outer work – their smartphones.
This large number of human force all stuck at home has led a major increase in online scammers as even the ethical one’s amongst them have grown bored and looking for new loopholes to exploit.
Organizations are been targeted, individuals are made to pay the price for being idle, phishing mails are getting sent and received at a rate of a thousand mails every second. But asides all these, individuals are encouraged to stay safe from the deadly virus with recorded infection figures going up each day here in the part of the world.
Seems everyone forgot about the other safe which is very much vital too??!
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) is warning the Internet community that COVID-19 has sparked rising scammers leveraging the deadly virus to steal money, personal information or both from users of online services.
“Protect yourself and do your research before clicking on links purporting to provide information on the virus; donating to a charity online or through social media; contributing to a crowdfunding campaign; purchasing products online; or giving up your personal information in order to receive money or other benefits”, the US law enforcement agency advises.
In this part of the world where vulnerable individuals hardly struggle to survive each day, talks making rounds on the internet regarding the Nigerian government sharing stimulus package of N20,000 to every citizen has done little to help arrest the issue of cybercrime.
Hackers and scammers have been continuously bombarding individuals with phishing links to give away their details so as to enlist them and reserve their own package; which invariably is only sugar-coated lies.
This is not a happy sight as so many individuals who struggle to make through each day with their families end up giving away the little they have in reserve.
A recent war brewing between the United States and China over alleged hack into the former’s Covid-19 vaccine research systems just goes about to tell you no one is exempt from the monster that is Cyber attack.
Furthermore, company’s have had to educate their staffs with regards to working from home and handling logins both on personal and public computers as any major breakthrough in user data could finally result in giving away company information which isin’t really a worthy report.
FBI says Internet users should always use good cyber hygiene and security measures when they are online.
According to the law enforcement agency, the following five(core) tips are vital for any Internet user to protect themselves and help limit the rate of cybercrime activity:
- Do not open attachments or click links within emails from senders you don’t recognize no matter how tempting the message contained is.
- Do not provide your username, password, date of birth, social security number, BVN, financial data, or other personal information in response to an email or robocall from a random individual.
- Always verify the web address of legitimate websites and manually type them into your browser. If possible Google search the address name categorically before clicking through.
- Check for misspellings or wrong domains within a link (for example, an address that should end in a “.gov” ends in .com” instead).
- If you believe you are the victim of an Internet scam or cyber crime, or if you want to report suspicious activity, don’t hesitate to contact the institution involved ASAP.
Internet fraud is a monster that won’t just go away yet but with staying safe, careful and regulating our online footprints, we could save lives and cooperations at large.
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