Twitter Employees Hacked In 'Coordinated Social Engineering Attack'

Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk had his Twitter account hacked to spread a cryptocurrency scam

Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk had his Twitter account hacked to spread a cryptocurrency scam

Twitter said hackers targeted employees with access to its internal systems and "used this access to take control of many highly-visible (including verified) accounts and Tweet on their behalf".

Twitter said it removed the tweets and temporarily blocked some verified high-profile accounts from posting altogether while it investigated the incident. The employee could have provided hackers with access to a necessary tool which helped them carry out the attack or simply hijacked the account by himself or herself, Vice said, citing the comments of a Twitter spokesperson.

In a tweet Wednesday night, the company said it is looking into what information the attackers "may have accessed" and will share that information as it becomes available.

The incident led to high-profile accounts such as those of former president Barack Obama, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and even companies like Apple and Uber tweeting messages about Bitcoin donations.

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Twitter didn't say how many accounts were affected by these measures, or provide instructions on how affected users could regain access.

"On the one hand, tweets from government officials may help shape the American public narrative and provide greater insights into USA decision-making to reduce misperception by foreign actors", they wrote. Internally, we've taken significant steps to limit access to internal systems and tools while our investigation is ongoing.

Jordan said he remained locked out of his Twitter account as of Thursday morning and said his confidence in how the company operates has been deteriorating.

Cybersecurity news platform the Hacker News said the bitcoin account involved had already received almost $55,000. If you send $1,000, I will send back $2,000.

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The tweets were deleted just minutes after they first were posted.

Retail investors, who have access to fewer sources of real-time information and often rely on social media for trading tips, are among the investors most at risk for being conned, according to Viraj Patel, a currency and macro strategist at Arkera Inc.in London.

"I am concerned that this event may represent not merely a co-ordinated set of separate hacking incidents but rather a successful attack on the security of Twitter itself", he said. Multiple users have reported that their email addresses were changed as part of the hack, making it effectively impossible for them to recover their accounts.

The perpetrator reportedly used an administrative control panel meant to allow Twitter employees to take control of user accounts, of which users have leaked images on social media. Still, it's probably been a worse day for Twitter, and for the several thousand people who appear to have fallen for it.

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