Written by Vedika Pathania
Twitterverse was taken by storm on the afternoon of 15th July as major US Twitter accounts, including those of Elon Musk, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Kanye West, Jeff Bezos, and countless other prominent figures, were hacked. (Twitter is a social media platform).
The Twitter accounts of some of the most powerful people in America were seen tweeting about Bitcoins. The hacking attack, evidently a coordinated scam, is being dubbed as one of the “most brazen attacks in online memory”.
Even after Twitter tried regaining control and deleted the messages, similar messages continued to pop up.
What were the messages about?
Around 4 pm, on Wednesday, the targeted accounts started tweeting about an ‘offer that was valid for 30 minutes’ where if a Bitcoin is sent to the link mentioned in the tweet, double the amount would be sent back.
The tweets continued for approximately 4 hours and in that duration, the mentioned bitcoin wallet received over 100,000 US Dollars via approximately 300 transactions.
How did Twitter respond?
In response to the cyber attack, Twitter officials apologized for the inconvenience and said that the matter was being ‘reviewed’. They also mentioned that the targeted users may be unable to fully access their account until the time a thorough investigation isn’t completed.
Twitter responded by saying that the incident was a “coordinated” attack targeting its employees “with access to internal systems and tools”.
The attack has been deemed as a ‘coordinated social engineering attack’ and exposes the vulnerabilities of the systems and brings into question the safety of the micro-blogging platform given the fact that several influential and powerful accounts were targeted.
Has this happened before?
This is not the first time that Twitter reported a hack. In March 2017, the accounts of Amnesty International, the French economics ministry, and the BBC’s North American service were hacked. Last August, Jack Dorsey’s, the CEO and founder of Twitter, account was also hacked and racist and insulting messages were posted without any knowledge of the user.
While the internet did what it does best, it made memes about the issue, it is evident that security breaches of major social media accounts not only bring into question their safety and privacy but also questions the safety of the cyber world in general.