Twitter accounts, owned by politicians, celebrities, and large organisations suddenly started tweeting messages to their many millions of followers, at the behest of hackers. Here is a typical one which appeared on the account of rapper, songwriter, and optimistic Presidential candidate Kanye West and was distributed to his almost 30 million followers:
Similar messages appeared on the accounts of Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Kim Kardashian, Mike Bloomberg, Uber, Apple, Coinbase, Binance, and many other verified accounts.
This, obviously, is a scam. We’ve seen cryptocurrency scams use a similar lure in the past, albeit never on this scale before. Potential victims are told that all they have to do is send X number of Bitcoin to a wallet in order to receive more Bitcoin in return. Sadly, some people fall for such confidence tricks.
At the moment the suspicion is that a hacker managed to gain access to Twitter’s administration panel - a section of Twitter’s infrastructure that is supposed to be restricted to a small number of Twitter staff, helping them to troubleshoot problems with users’ accounts. Twitter is investigating whether one of its employees was responsible for the hack or might have granted hackers access to the internal administration tool. From the administration panel, a malicious user could reset the email address associated with a Twitter account (thus granting someone else access to it), and disable two-factor authentication.