SAN FRANCISCO—The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation is leading a federal inquiry into the hack of several Twitter accounts on Wednesday, July 15. 

Hackers seized the accounts of Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Kanye West, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and several others. The accounts requested donations in cryptocurrency (Bitcoin), with many stating they would send back double the amount. The scam is said to have garnered approximately $120,000.

Tweets sent out by hackers on the accounts of Joe Biden, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates. Photo courtesy of @Breaking911 via Twitter.

Twitter claimed it was a coordinated attack targeting employees “with access to internal systems and tools.”

“We know they [the hackers] used this access to take control of many highly-visible (including verified) accounts and Tweet on their behalf,” the company tweeted. 

It added that significant steps were already being taken to counter such issues as the investigation develops. Users have been blocked from being able to tweet Bitcoin wallet addresses. Many verified Twitter accounts were temporarily unable to tweet altogether.

In response to the hacking, Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey tweeted: “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 exactly what happened.”

Lawmakers urged Twitter to fully disclose what occurred to prevent it from happening again. The U.S. Senate Commerce committee  demanded Twitter brief them about the incident no later than Thursday, July 23.

The FBI will investigate the hacking, in a statement, its San Francisco field office said: “The accounts appear to have been compromised in order to perpetuate cryptocurrency fraud. We advise the public not to fall victim to this scam by sending cryptocurrency or money in relation to this incident.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is having the state’s Department of Financial Services investigate the attack.

“This type of hack by con artists for financial gain can also be a tool of foreign actors and others to spread disinformation and – as we’ve witnessed – disrupt our elections,”  said Governor Cuomo.