Numerous verified Twitter accounts were the subject of a major cyberattack. The hackers targeted select celebrities on Wednesday (July 15). The hack was an apparent Bitcoin scam that targeted the users’ followers.
The Victims and the Tweets
Victims to the hack include presidential candidate, Joe Biden, tech mogul, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Barack Obama. Major brands also fell victim, like Apple and Uber. Even Kanye West was a victim.
The messages were similar, essentially saying if you send Bitcoin to the famous people’s links, they will return double the amount in money.
Twitter deleted the tweets, unfortunately, similar tweets later appeared on some of the affected accounts. In response, Twitter stopped letting verified users tweet on the platform for a few hours.
What This Means
“It could have been much worse,” Alex Stamos, the former chief security officer at Facebook told the Daily Mail UK. “We got lucky that this is what they decided to do with their power.”
Over 300 transactions took place due to the hack. Overall, $118,000 was reportedly sent to the Bitcoin wallet.
What Twitter Had to Say
Moments after the hijacked accounts occurred, Twitter released a statement on the platform. “We are aware of a security incident impacting accounts on Twitter and are investigating and taking steps to fix it. We will update everyone shortly,” it read.
They later said that they have launched an ongoing investigation into the matter. “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,” the statement read.
“We’re looking into what other malicious activity they may have conducted or information they may have accessed,” Twitter’s spokesman told The New York Times. “We’ve taken significant steps to limit access to internal systems and tools while our investigation is ongoing.”
“Tough day for us at Twitter,” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted on Wednesday. “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.” He added a blue heart emoji “to our teammates working hard to make this right.”
Who is Behind the Attack?
A reporter from Vice claimed to have spoken with one of the anonymous hackers behind the attack. The hackers claimed that they paid off a Twitter employee to access the platform’s tool that is able to control accounts.