High profile Twitter accounts including Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Kanye West, Apple were the target of a widespread attack that security experts are calling the worst hacking incident in the company’s recent history.
Twitter says the sprawling hack was the result of a “coordinated social engineering attack” on its employees.
This Twitter hack affecting top politicians and celebrities in the United States has helped a Bitcoin wallet receive over $100,000 via at least 300 transactions.
What happened? Who was affected? Why does this incident matter?
As Twitter tried to regain control, verified handles across the world went mute for a while and were unable to tweet.
What was the Twitter hack all about?
Around 4 pm Wednesday in the US, many high-profile accounts started tweeting a message saying any bitcoin sent to a link in the tweet will be sent back doubled, an offer the tweet said last just for 30 minutes.
Apple and Uber handles were among the first to be impacted, followed by those of Musk and Gates. In a couple of hours, it had taken over the handles of Obama, Biden, Mike Bloomberg and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Around the time handles of boxer Floyd Mayweather and celebrity Kim Kardashian had been affected, Twitter locked most large verified accounts across the US and rest of the world.
However, in the four-odd hours the tweets were live, the Bitcoin wallet promoted in the tweets received over $100,000 via at least 300 transactions.
What is Twitter saying about the incident?
Chief executive Jack Dorsey tweeted: “Tough day for us at Twitter. We all feel terrible this happened.”
Twitter’s product lead Kayvon Beykpour tweeted that their “investigation into the security incident is still ongoing”, and promised more updates from @TwitterSupport. “In the meantime, I just wanted to say that I’m really sorry for the disruption and frustration this incident has caused our customers,” he said.
In a series of tweets, @TwitterSupport acknowledged the “security incident” and informed users that they maybe be unable to tweet or reset passwords till the micro-blogging platform reviewed the incident.
The implications are huge given the fact that the most powerful and popular accounts have been hacked. Given the influence Twitter has over political conversations globally, and in the US in particular, the verified handles of so many politicians being compromised at the same time does not augur well for the platform.
This new incident has also shown that social media giants could be more vulnerable than before.
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