Twitter claims “a coordinated social engineering attack” caused one of the world’s largest social media platforms to melt down on Wednesday after prominent celebrity profiles were used to promote a large-scale bitcoin scam.
- A mass takeover of big-name celebrities including former Vice President Joe Biden, former U.S. President Barack Obama, Kanye West and Elon Musk saw their accounts compromised, starting at 19:00 UTC.
- Twitter said in a series of tweets that hackers targeted "some of" its employees who had access to internal tools, which they used "to take control of many highly visible (including verified) accounts and [t]weet on their behalf."
- The social media platform is looking into what else was impacted, while restoring accounts to their users.
- Motherboard, VICE Magazine's tech section, said it spoke to two sources who took over accounts, who claimed they paid a Twitter insider to manage the takeovers.
- Twitter being "highly centralized" led to the hack, said Ben Sigman, CTO at blockchain startup Make Sense Labs.
- Twitter employees have "godmode" access to create tweets from any user, Sigman claimed.
- It's worth noting all addresses are Bech32/Segwit addresses, which helps narrow down the wallet and service being used.