A bunch of verified Twitter accounts were hacked on Wednesday. The hackers used the accounts of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, and others with extremely large platforms to tweet a link to a bitcoin scam. The scam promised that anyone who transferred Bitcoin within the hour would have the amount multiplied and sent back by the famous person wanting to "give back."
Unfortunately, many people fell for the scam, which is understandable, considering the legitimacy of the folks whose accounts were hacked. Tens of thousands of dollars were lost.
The hackers didn't use their access for anything more than requesting Bitcoin, but the attack highly concerning to security experts.
Twitter released a statement via a thread on its @TwitterSupport account.
"Our investigation is still ongoing but here's what we know so far:
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.
Once we became aware of the incident, we immediately locked down the affected accounts and removed Tweets posted by the attackers. We also limited functionality for a much larger group of accounts, like all verified accounts (even those with no evidence of being compromised), while we continue to fully investigate this. This was disruptive, but it was an important step to reduce risk. Most functionality has been restored but we may take further actions and will update you if we do. We have locked accounts that were compromised and will restore access to the original account owner only when we are certain we can do so securely.
Internally, we've taken significant steps to limit access to internal systems and tools while our investigation is ongoing. More updates to come as our investigation continues."