Twitter responds on Bitcoin scam: Attackers targeted employees through social engineering scheme
Jul 18, 2020
WASHINGTON: Following a massive cyber attack during which 130 high-profile accounts were hacked, Twitter on Saturday responded to the crypto scam issue, saying, attackers targeted certain Twitter employees through a social engineering scheme and used their credentials to access their internal systems.
"We believe attackers targeted certain Twitter employees through a social engineering scheme. They manipulated a small number of employees and used their credentials to access Twitter's internal systems, including getting through our two-factor protections," said Twitter on Bitcoin scam.
The hack, which lasted for hours, saw the accounts of prominent personalities including US presidential hopeful Joe Biden, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Microsoft Co-founder Bill Gates and of Apple getting simultaneously hacked on Wednesday.
Twitter in a statement said that hackers accessed tools only available to our internal support teams to target 130 Twitter accounts. For 45 of those accounts, the attackers were able to initiate a password reset, login to the account, and send tweets, the social media giant added.
"For up to eight of the Twitter accounts involved, the attackers took the additional step of downloading the account's information through our "Your Twitter Data" tool. We are reaching out directly to any account owner where we know this to be true," Twitter added.
According to the WSJ report, while the social media giant hasn't disclosed specifics about the hack, security experts believe the attack might have focused on the company's internal account-reset systems, which are used to help users regain access to their accounts after losing their phones or forgetting their passwords.
Meanwhile, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has launched a probe into the widespread hack.
The FBI said on Thursday in announcing its probe that "at this time, the accounts appear to have been compromised in order to perpetuate cryptocurrency fraud."
Twitter is cooperating with the investigation, said the agency.