Twitter Hack of the century
Politicians, celebrities, large corporations Twitter accounts were suddenly hacked to exploit fans of cryptocurrency.
On 15th of July many popular Twitter accounts (verified ones) started tweeting about ‘giveaways’ of Bitcoin. Tweets promised that every Bitcoin transfer to a specific cryptocurrency wallet would be doubled and sent back to the giver. This was supposed to be a time-sensitive ‘offer’.
Accounts that were hacked belonged to celebrities, politicians, organizations. Some of them were:
- Kanye West
- Bill Gates
- Barack Obama,
- Elon Musk,
- Jeff Bezos,
- Kim Kardashian,
- and many, many others.
These are verified accounts with massive following – Kanye West accounts has almost 30 milion followers.
Online accounts can be hijacked in many ways. Reusing passwords on different websites, data breaches, phishing, keyloggers (malware), third-party app. This wasn’t the case.
There’s suspicion that (whoever it was) hacker gained access to administration panel of Twitter. It is possible that one of the Twitter’s employees has fallen victim to phishing attack or just granted access for monetary gain. Then it would be very easy to reset passwords to these accounts, turn off the two-factor authentication and post scam tweets.
Twitter has briefly blocked verified users from posting tweets while they were trying to do damage control. They had also introduced a restriction to prevent posting tweets that contained Bitcoin wallet addresses.
One Instagram account that was linked to the attack claimed that the money received in this scam was maybe supposed to go to ‘charity’ but it’s not a verified information.
This is a good example of what not to believe on social media – even if it comes from a verified source.