Image Source – Google | Image by Jules Wang
It was 4 in the afternoon when the chaos struck online. The twitter accounts of the major companies and individuals have been hacked at one of the most brazen online hacking attempts in history.
Dozens of the big names in America, including Barack Obama, Joseph R. Biden Jr., Kanye West, Bill Gates and Elon Musk posted compromised tweets all related to: Send Bitcoin and they will send back the double of your money – The hacker appears to be earning quite a bit of money with the scam.
The first phase of attacks struck the Twitter accounts of significant cryptocurrency leaders and companies. But shortly after, the list of victims extended to include A-list American personalities belonging to politics, tech and entertainment, in a major display of force by the hackers.
Though we are unclear how big the hacking was and how much of the Twitter system has been compromised, Twitter has announced that it took prompt action and removed many of the tweets, but in some accounts similar tweets were posted again, indicating that Twitter was helpless to regain control.
Twitter says it won’t regain access to their owners “until we are certain we can do so secretly.”
On Wednesday evening, the company declared that one of their employee internal tools had been compromised and used in the hack. Well, that explains why even certified accounts were hacked to fool followers with the bitcoin scam.
The hackers appear to have abated the accounts, but some verified tweets still posted some new scam tweets at a regular interval starting soon after 4PM ET and existed for more than two hours until they were removed.
Twitter came into action almost half an hour late, tweeting from its support account at 5:45 PM ET, “We are aware of a security incident impacting accounts on Twitter. We are investigating and taking steps to fix it. We will update everyone shortly.”
Companies took the unprecedented action of securing verified accounts from tweeting absolutely nothing at all starting around 6 PM ET. Twitter has never taken such action before in the company’s history.
Twitter withdrew its actions on restricting tweets at 7:18 PM ET, stating, “We are continuing to limit the ability to Tweet, reset your password, and some other account functionalities while we look into this. Thanks for your patience.” After an hour, twitter reported, “most” verified accounts can be accessed, adding, “As we continue working on a fix, this functionality may come and go.”
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted late in the evening, “Tough day for us at Twitter. We all feel terrible this happened. We are diagnosing and will share everything we can when we have a more complete understanding of exactly what happened.”
Kayvon Beykpour, product chief, released a public statement from his personal account, saying, “Our investigation into the security is still ongoing but we’ll be posting updates from @TwitterSupport with more detail soon. In the meantime, I just wanted to say that I’m really sorry for the disruption and frustration this incident has caused to our customers.”