Although most of the hacking attempts were unsuccessful, the accounts which hackers did get access to were of famous personalities such as Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Joe Biden, Jeff Bezos, Kim Kardashian, and even Barack Obama. Other than that, corporate accounts like Apple and Uber also lost control of their accounts for a brief moment. Amidst all this, Twitter was also making efforts to minimize the damage by temporarily stopping all blue-tick accounts from posting tweets.
After seeing such important figures having their accounts hacked, one might wonder how Donald Trump’s account was saved. Well, this could be attributed to the fact that his account got deactivated by an employee back in 2017, which resulted in Twitter providing the POTUS increased security.
Kanye west, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Elon Musk Twitter accounts got hacked and this guys have made over 10M dollars
This will go down as the biggest heist on Twitter pic.twitter.com/q7mUXYzpt0
— ploque🔥 (@_oluwatobiiiii) July 15, 2020
As you’d expect, the hackers did have ulterior motives for hacking these accounts. After gaining control, the hackers tweeted something along the lines of sending them bitcoin and that they would return double the amount to the sender. No matter how silly this idea seems to be, such tweets have surfaced on Twitter in the past as well, but with fake accounts of various influencing people. However, this time, there were real accounts making this tweet which aggravated the chances of people falling into the hackers’ trap.
Accordingly, as per reports, it was noted that the hackers were able to score $121,000 from more than 400 payments, about half of which were sent from American cryptocurrency exchanges. Albeit the fact that many people got tricked into losing their hard-earned money for good, it won’t be wrong to say that the consequences of such hacking rampage could have been much worse.
Another thing worth noting here is that Twitter considers this to be an inside job, referring to it as a “coordinated social engineering attack”. What this means is that the employees were either a part of this attack or just simply gave out information which they weren’t supposed to. This shouldn’t be surprising at all considering that the operation of a business depends on providing data and access to a lot of workers, whose regulation could be quite difficult.
As of now, the social networking site is still looking into the details of the accounts that got hacked to make sure that their non-public data (such as direct messages) was not compromised. From what they know thus far, the hackers didn’t get access to account passwords, so there’s no need for resetting it.
Our investigation is still ongoing but here’s what we know so far:
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 16, 2020
The recent development here is that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has started looking into this case, which falls under the category of cryptocurrency fraud.
From this hacking rampage, one thing is clear that no amount of security measures can truly guarantee the protection of a social media account, even if it belongs to a popular figure. Although the damage has been done, the FBI has gotten involved in this case, so it’s only a matter of time before we get to know who was behind this ‘potentially-inside’ hacking job.