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Twitter suffers massive security breach

By Christian Imperio Published Jul 16, 2020 12:00 am

The Twitterverse was in a state of disarray early Thursday morning following a massive security breach involving verified accounts of tech moguls, celebrities and prominent personalities in what appeared to be a Bitcoin scam.

Thousands of users were immediately lured into sending money to a malicious Bitcoin address that was posted to the official accounts of various personalities including Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and former US president Barack Obama.

The scammers were able to post a tweet offering $2,000 to those who will send $1,000 to the anonymous address. Followers appeared to have taken the bait easily as the account immediately accumulated a total of 12.85 bitcoins, an amount that is valued at $118,202 or P5.86 million.

In a bid to resolve the security breach, Twitter announced that it is limiting the users’ access to their own accounts, like posting a tweet or resetting their password. The measure affected a number of organizations, including media outfits that weren’t able to use their platform to report the incident.

“This was disruptive, but it was an important step to reduce risk. Most functionality has been restored but we may take further actions and will update you if we do,” it said.

Following an investigation, Twitter said that the “coordinated social engineering attack” occurred after people behind the scheme successfully targeted some of the company’s employees who have access to the internal systems and tools.

“We know they 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,” it said.

As of 8:41 a.m., the Twitter support team said that most accounts “should be able to tweet again” but warned that the functionality may come and go as they continue working on a fix.