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High-profile & VIP Twitter accounts hacked in brazen Bitcoin scam

Hacked accounts include the likes of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Apple, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates.

Twitter, on Wednesday, saw several high-profile verified accounts hacked from an unknown party in what looks like an attempt to con people through a Bitcoin 'send now, receive double' scam.

Courtesy TechCrunch
Courtesy TechCrunch

The hacked accounts included the cream of Twitter's verified pool such as Elon Musk, Barack Obama, Apple, Joe Biden, Bill Gates, Kanye West, Jeff Bezos. Each hacked account tweeted a similar message.

Most messages were on the lines of 'Send Bitcoins to the mentioned address they'd send $1,000, they'd receive $2,000 and this scheme was valid only for the next 30 minutes.'

According to TechCrunch, the hackers gained access, "... to a Twitter “admin” tool on the company’s network that allowed them to hijack high-profile Twitter accounts to spread a cryptocurrency scam."

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that people can send (or a part of it ) to your digital wallet and vice versa. There is no regulatory body to oversee it.

The tweet's trail details the company's responses during its investigation.

Twitter's first response to the attack was to ally fears of people, "We are aware of a security incident impacting accounts on Twitter. We are investigating and taking steps to fix it. We will update everyone shortly."

It then revealed, "We detected what we believe to be a coordinated social engineering attack by people who successfully targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools."

Twitter had also limited functionality of a large number of verified accounts as it investigated the matter and the functionality has been restored.

In the end, it said, "Internally, we’ve taken significant steps to limit access to internal systems and tools while our investigation is ongoing. More updates to come as our investigation continues."

Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO, Twitter, said the company felt terrible for what happened and that will share everything so that everybody can get a better understanding of what happened.

What's puzzled several people and security analysts is the ease through which several high-profile accounts were hacked and then used to tweet. While the situation is now under control, if the hackers had used the accounts to cause financial distress in the stock markets or influence political dialogue (the US Presidential election is this year and frontrunner Joe Biden's account was one of the hacked ones), the results would've caused a disaster.