Dozens of high-profile Twitter accounts were hacked for hours on Wednesday of this week. Affected accounts tweeted out a scam requesting Bitcoin (digital cash) with a promise to double the money. Elon Musk’s account was the first to display such tweets.
Twitter immediately shut down the ability of all verified accounts to tweet or reset their passwords. Some may still be unable to access their accounts after resetting their passwords. Internal systems and tools access were also reportedly limited by Twitter.
Twitter has admitted that these account hacks originated with multiple internal employees. Hackers may have even paid the employees to gain access. A series of tweets on @TwitterSupport were tweeted.
“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. 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 CEO Jack Dorsey reached out via Twitter on Wednesday evening to express his regrets:
In addition to Twitter’s ongoing investigation, the FBI is leading an investigation into the Twitter account hacks. New York State is also conducting a full investigation.
Who was affected by the Twitter hack?
High profile Twitter accounts hacked included Joe Biden, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Kanye West, Barack Obama, Mike Bloomberg, Apple, and Uber. Twitter took down each tweet as they cropped up for over an hour before starting to shut down accounts.
This is not the first time Twitter has been hacked, although this is the biggest, most coordinated attack to date. According to @TwitterSupport, “We have no evidence that attackers accessed passwords. Currently, we don’t believe resetting your password is necessary.”
How could the hack affect Twitter?
Twitter’s stocks have dipped and high profile users may think twice about continuing to use Twitter in the wake of this hack, considering alternative social media platforms. The launch of Twitter developer tools to add features such as polls and conversation threading has been delayed.
Many believe the Twitter account hacks could have been much worse. There is much concern that hackers may well cause diplomatic issues or disrupt elections in the future. What could happen if President Trump’s tweets were hacked?
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