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(Reuters) — Twitter mentioned hackers accessed its inside techniques to hijack a few of the platform’s prime voices, together with U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden, actuality TV star Kim Kardashian, former U.S. President Barack Obama, and billionaire Elon Musk, and used them to solicit digital foreign money.
Twitter mentioned staff with entry to its inside techniques had been efficiently focused by hackers who “used this access to take control of many highly visible (including verified) accounts and Tweet on their behalf.”
“We’re looking into what other malicious activity they may have conducted or information they may have accessed and will share more here as we have it,” the corporate mentioned.
Twitter briefly took the extraordinary step of stopping for a number of hours at the least some verified accounts from publishing messages altogether. It mentioned it will restore entry solely when it was sure it may achieve this securely.
Publicly out there blockchain information present the obvious scammers obtained greater than $100,000 value of cryptocurrency.
CEO Jack Dorsey earlier mentioned the corporate was diagnosing the issue and pledged to share “everything we can when we have a more complete understanding of exactly what happened.”
“Tough day for us at Twitter. We all feel terrible this happened,” he mentioned in a tweet.
Shares within the social media firm tumbled virtually 5% in buying and selling after the market shut earlier than paring their losses.
In the hours after the preliminary breach, a few of the platform’s greatest customers seemed to be struggling to reestablish management of their accounts. In the case of billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk, for instance, one tweet soliciting cryptocurrency was eliminated, and someday later one other one appeared, after which a 3rd.
Among different excessive profile accounts affected: rapper Kanye West, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, investor Warren Buffett, Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates, and the company accounts for Uber and Apple. Several accounts of cryptocurrency-focused organizations have been additionally hijacked.
Altogether, the affected accounts had tens of thousands and thousands of customers.
Biden’s marketing campaign was “in touch” with Twitter, in line with an individual acquainted with the matter. The particular person mentioned the corporate had locked down the Democrat’s account “immediately following the breach and removed the related tweet.” Tesla and different affected corporations weren’t instantly out there for remark.
Several specialists mentioned the incident raised questions on Twitter’s cybersecurity.
“It’s clear the company is not doing enough to protect itself,” mentioned Oren Falkowitz, former CEO of Area 1 Security.
Alperovitch, who now chairs the Silverado Policy Accelerator, mentioned that, in a manner, the general public had dodged a bullet up to now.
“We are lucky that given the power of sending out tweets from the accounts of many famous people, the only thing that the hackers have done is scammed about $110,000 in bitcoins from about 300 people,” he mentioned.
(Reporting by Joseph Menn, Raphael Satter, and Katie Paul. Additional reporting by Elizabeth Culliford in San Francisco; Christopher Bing, David Shepardson, and Chris Sanders in Washington; Trevor Hunnicutt in New York; and Fanny Potkin in Singapore. Editing by Aurora Ellis and Lincoln Feast.)