Bitcoin latest hack to see celebrities lose control of their Twitter accounts

High-profile Twitter users saw their accounts fall victim to a hack on Wednesday evening.

Scammers appeared to take over the accounts of famous faces and large companies requesting donations of cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

Twitter took the step of stopping verified accounts from tweeting as it dealt with the issue, with founder Jack Dorsey saying: “We’re diagnosing and will share everything we can when we have a more complete understanding of exactly what happened.”

It is not the first time that people’s Twitter accounts have been taken over.

Louis Theroux had his Twitter account taken over in 2018
Louis Theroux had his Twitter account taken over in 2018

In 2018, accounts belonging to celebrities including Louis Theroux, Eamonn Holmes and Saira Khan were hacked to expose a security flaw on the social network.

A message reading “This account has been temporarily hijacked by INSINIA SECURITY” appeared on several pages, in an effort to highlight an apparent vulnerability in the way Twitter uses text messages to secure accounts.

The security firm said the users had not lost access to their account and that none of their data was compromised during the exercise.

“We understood the way that Twitter handles incoming texts from your number,” researchers said in a blog post.

“If we can text from what appears to be your number then we can interact with, and fully control, your Twitter account.”

In tricking Twitter’s verification system, they were able to fully use the target’s account, the company claimed, meaning they could send tweets, direct messages, retweet and like tweets, as well as follow and unfollow people.