The Federal Bureau of Investigation and New York State Department of Financial Services on Thursday opened investigations into the biggest Twitter hack to date that occurred Wednesday, according to Reuters.
Scammers hacked accounts belonging to former President Barack Obama, former Vice President and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Tesla founder Elon Musk and more. The hackers tweeted from victims' accounts asking users to donate Bitcoin to coronavirus relief and included a link to the scam.
"The FBI is investigating the incident involving several Twitter accounts belonging to high profile individuals that occurred on July 15, 2020," an FBI spokesperson told FOX Business. "At this time, the accounts appear to have been compromised in order to perpetuate cryptocurrency fraud."
The spokesperson added that the FBI is urging people to "not to fall victim to this scam by sending cryptocurrency or money in relation to this incident." The Bureau could not comment further because the investigation is still open.
Hackers claiming responsibility for the attack told VICE News' Motherboard vertical that a Twitter employee helped them take control of the accounts, which Twitter appeared to confirm in its own post. The company said that hackers targeted its employees in a social engineering attack.
The New York DFS also said it was opening an investigation at the direction of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a Thursday statement, saying "cyberattacks are a major threat and this incident shows how easily fraudulent and false information can be spread to millions of consumers."
"Yesterday's attack targeted the Twitter accounts of virtual currency companies, among others, that are licensed by DFS to serve New Yorkers," DFS said in a statement. "DFS developed the nation’s first cybersecurity regulation to protect New York’s financial services industry, including virtual currency companies. The Department will leverage its deep expertise to bring the facts to light.”
An earlier version of this story was updated to include a statement from the FBI.