On the intervening night of 15th and 16th July, Twitter accounts of high profile celebrities like U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden, reality TV star Kim Kardashian, former U.S. President Barack Obama and billionaire Elon Musk were hacked. The Twitter accounts appeared to have fallen prey to bitcoin related scam.
NEW: Hackers take over Twitter accounts of Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Joe Biden, Barack Obama, and many more. pic.twitter.com/UGXEkYunHb— Norbert Elekes (@NorbertElekes) July 15, 2020
While such online frauds are quite common, what is worrying is that the hackers gained access to multiple high profile Twitter accounts. In a statement issued by Twitter, it has claimed that the microblogging site believes it was a coordinated social engineering attack by people who managed to gain access to employees who had access to internal systems and tools. Social engineering is manipulating individuals using deceptive means into divulging confidential or personal information which may be used for fraudulent purposes.
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.— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 16, 2020
This further raises question on how the hackers knew which employees had access to the internal systems or whether it means that the employees were compromised themselves. This also raises questions on Twitter’s cyber security.