So, now we know: Twitter can be compromised at the highest levels, if that wasn’t clear before.
It was an epic hack--not for the money it raked in on al scam, but for the high-profile Twitter accounts it hacked to do it.
The Twitter accounts of everyone from Apple Inc and Elon Musk to Jeff Bezos, Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Bill Gates were hacked Wednesday with a bitcoin scam promising to double your money from the American elite to “give back to the community”.
In a series of messages coming from the verified twitter accounts of Musk, Apple, Obama, Biden, Gates and others, hackers begged for bitcoin using this scam:
And the list goes on …
The scam netted the hackers $59,000 in bitcoin before the slightly savvier Tweetsters caught on, according to Gizmodo. According to the Guardian, the equivalent of over $100,000 in bitcoin was collected.
No one really knows exactly how much money the scam generated because the modus operandi for cyber criminals in a scam of this nature is to prop up the bitcoin wallet in advance to make it appear credible.
According to TechCrunch, the domain registrar used by the hackers took down their website shortly afterwards.
This unprecedented Twitter hack in the social media giant’s history lasted for just over two hours, with Twitter responding an hour in with a notification that it was aware of the “security incident”.
How did they do it? Apparently, by breaching the Twitter admin account giving them admin privileges and the power to bypass Twitter account passwords. x
Twitter’s response following its statement of awareness was to prevent all verified accounts from tweeting for the first time, beginning at 6PM ET, with a message an hour later that it was “continuing to limit the ability to Tweet”.
In other words, Twitter was at a loss as to how this happened, and the significance is enormous considering that major American foreign policy decisions are undertaken via Twitter these days, and Trump uses the platform--in a love and hate manner--as his primary mouthpiece.
In an understatement later on Wednesday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted: "Tough day for us at Twitter. We all feel terrible this happened.”
Begging for Bitcoin could just as easily have been a Tweet to drink bleach as a coronavirus cure or something to further incite racial violence, among other things.
Dmitri Alperovitch, the co-founder of cyber-security company CrowdStrike, told Reuters: "This appears to be the worst hack of a major social media platform yet."
So far, experts have largely discounted a state-sponsored attack such as from North Korea, Iran, China or Russia. Instead, according to the New York Times, citing an American intelligence official, the hack was more likely perpetrated by an individual. That said, there appears to be no evidence as of yet as to who may have been behind the attack, and the “individual” guess is largely related to the fact that no political chaos was attempted and the stock markets were not being targeted. In other words, they think it was a pure smash and grab for bitcoin.
By Michael Kern for Safehaven.com
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