Social media network Twitter has just announced a huge hack that seized the accounts of verified users said CNN. The attack was detected after profiles of prominent people started promoting a crypto service that appears to be a scam.
Accounts that have been compromised include those of Kanye West, Kim Kardashian-West, Jeff Bezos, Mike Bloomberg, and former United States President Barack Obama. Bill Gates, Joe Biden, and Elon Musk, as well as corporate profiles such as Apple and Uber, are also affected.
Compromised accounts posted dubious tweets saying something in the line of, “I am giving back to my community due to Covid-19! All Bitcoin sent to my address below will be sent back doubled. If you send $1,000, I will send back $2,000!” This is followed by a crypto address.
In response to the incident, the Twitter Support account posted assurances that the company is investigating the matter. Tweeting and password reset were disabled for verified accounts after an hour. CNN said that unverified ones were able to tweet during that time.
After almost an hour of not being able to tweet and change passwords, most accounts’ ability to post and reset security codes were back.
CNN dubbed this incident as “arguable the biggest security incident in Twitter’s history.” The report noted that the attack is more alarming for the fact that world leaders use the platform for major uses such as US President Donald Trump and his policy announcements over Twitter.
This is not the first time that the platform has experienced major cyberattacks. In 2019, attackers were able to hack CEO Jack Dorsey’s profile.
Regarding the cryptocurrency scam promoted by these verified accounts, Bitcoin researcher Tim Cotton told CNN Business that the wallet was created on Wednesday, the day of the attack. A few hours after the incident showed that the wallet received over $100,000 in Bitcoin.
Part of the amount, which was received over hundreds of transactions, have been moved to other wallets.
Meanwhile, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s San Francisco field office acknowledged the issue. It commented, “The accounts appear to have been compromised in order to perpetuate cryptocurrency fraud.”
The Washington Post commented that the incident “will create major optics challenge for Twitter” as the authenticity of posts even from prominent profiles would be questioned. This can affect public figures such as politicians, celebrities, and brands that use the platform.