Faizel Patel – 16/07/2020
Verified Twitter users are able to tweet again after the social media company muzzled some of its most widely followed accounts.
Reuters reports that Twitter said on Wednesday hackers obtained control of employee credentials to hijack accounts including those of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, former president Barack Obama, reality television star Kim Kardashian, and tech billionaire and Tesla founder Elon Musk.
“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’s statements confirmed the fears of security experts that the service itself, rather than users had been compromised.
“The hackers “used this access to take control of many highly-visible (including verified) accounts and tweet on their behalf.”
Posing as celebrities and the wealthy, the hackers asked followers to send the digital currency bitcoin to a series of addresses and by evening, 400 bitcoin transfers were made worth a combined $120 000.
Twitter says it is not yet certain what the hackers may have done beyond sending the bitcoin messages.
Twitter’s role as a communications platform for political candidates and public officials, including President Donald Trump, has led to fears that hackers could wreak havoc with the 3 November presidential election or otherwise compromise national security.