Dubious cryptocurrency: Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Barack Obama affected: celebrity accounts hacked – Twitter boss promises clarification | message
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Twitter promised clarification as to whether the attackers could also gain access to information from the affected accounts.
According to initial information from the short message service, Twitter employees with access to internal systems were targeted in a coordinated attack. Since the beginning of the Corona crisis, a large proportion of Twitter employees have been working from home. At the same time, the website “Vice”, citing an alleged attacker, reported that they had also paid a Twitter insider for his help. The information could not initially be confirmed independently.
In the message distributed via the accounts on Wednesday, it was promised to repay the bitcoins sent in twice. Profiles of the democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, the former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, the rapper Kanye West, the Microsoft founder were also misused for this purpose Bill Gates as well as the Tesla boss Elon Musk. The US President’s account Donald Trump, for whom Twitter is a central communication channel, was not affected.
What is particularly alarming about the attack is that, despite all the security precautions, the attackers succeeded in spreading their messages on a large scale through very well-protected Twitter accounts. With this access, instead of a crude bitcoin scam, for example, they could have tried to manipulate stock prices via false tweets.
“We all regret that this has happened,” wrote Twitter chief Jack Dorsey. “A tough day for us on Twitter.” As soon as the company had “a better understanding” of what had happened, the public would be informed as fully as possible.
Many of the Twitter accounts were temporarily blocked, but were back online shortly afterwards without the fraudulent messages. For the most part, verified Twitter profiles could not tweet for several hours because the service wanted to stop the Bitcoin scam from spreading further. Cryptocurrency worth over $ 100,000 was quickly sent to a Bitcoin account mentioned in the Twitter news.
Twitter has had problems hijacking accounts in the past – but never on such a broad front and with so many prominent names at once. The extent of the attack already suggested that this time it was not an app linked to Twitter accounts that was used, as in previous cases, but that Twitter systems were used directly for this.
The celebrity accounts should be protected with complex passwords and so-called two-factor authentication, which also requires a freshly sent code to register on another device. However, these security precautions can obviously be undermined by accessing Twitter systems.
Twitter had tightened security after strangers spread news about CEO Jack Dorsey’s account almost a year ago. The service said at the time that its systems had not been hacked, but a security vulnerability at Dorsey’s mobile operator had allowed the tweets to be sent via SMS. Most recently, a group called “OurMine” managed to post to the accounts of several American football teams in late January. The aim was to show that “everything can be hacked,” it said at the time.
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