Several popular verified Twitter accounts have been hacked by scammers to promote an ad using Tesla boss Elon Musk’s name and likeness. British fashion retailer Matalan, film distributor Pathe UK and US publisher Pantheon Books were among those whose accounts were taken over by scam artists. The scam used promoted tweets – where Twitter is paid by advertisers to make a tweet appear to a wider audience.
The tweets have since been deleted with many accounts recovered, though some were left blank while waiting for their owners to re-enter their name and profile picture. Scammers targeted several “verified” accounts (denoted with a blue tick) and changed the name and image to that of Elon Musk.
The tweet then urged users to part with a small amount of Bitcoin – a digital currency – to supposedly receive more. Several other verified accounts, which were also taken under the scam artists’ control, appear in the tweet’s comments to claim that they have received Bitcoin from Musk. A Twitter spokesperson told reporters that twitter “doesn’t comment on individual accounts for privacy and security reasons”.
Meanwhile, Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings is tightening checks on the age of people playing online games, as China tries to tackle gaming addiction. Earlier this year, Tencent introduced a registration system for its hugely popular game Honour of Kings.
The system, which checks players’ identities and ages against a police database, will apply to all Tencent games by 2019, according to media reports. This means that children under 12 will only be able to play for an hour a day. Older children can play for up to two hours, but not during a nighttime curfew.
Finally, the United Kingdom’s aviation regulator says concerns over the cost and schedule of a new Heathrow Airport runway must be answered “urgently and decisively”. In a letter to the Department for Transport, the Civil Aviation Authority says it has concerns over Heathrow Airport Limited’s “information flow”.
Plans to build more airport capacity in the south east of England have been beset by rows, delays, protests and competing plans. But in June the Cabinet finally approved a new runway plan for Heathrow, a move described by ministers as a “historic moment” for the UK.