Social media platform Twitter became the target of a sophisticated hack Wednesday, that compromised the verified accounts of technology executives, politicians and celebrities, leaving Twitter scrambling for answers.
The hacked accounts included Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Apple Inc., Joe Biden, Barack Obama, and Kanye West. Each Twitter account posted the same Tweet – asking for the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, donations. The tweet also included an online address for currency donations. The hacked accounts were all verified. When an account is verified it means it received the coveted blue check next to their account name in recognition that the accounts officially belong to the user. Twitter then took the unprecedented step of temporarily halting new posts from the verified and tampered accounts.
Twitter Support announced the incident via tweet. “We know they used this access to take control of many highly-visible (including verified) accounts and Tweet on their behalf. We’re looking into what other malicious activity they may have conducted or information they may have accessed and will share more here as we have it.”
Twitter believes the hackers targeted their own employees to gain access to the high-profile accounts. “We detected what we believe to be a coordinated social engineering attack by people who successfully targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools.” Twitter then began to limit its software employees Twitter’s internal access as it continues to investigate the incident. The investigation is still currently in the early stages, with full repercussions of the malicious intent currently unknown.