VIP accounts are shut down after large-scale hacking

Massive hacking has targeted Wednesday accounts for American personalities and companies such as Bill Gates, Barack Obama or even Apple and Uber. At the time of this incident, accounts were blocked as victims of this hacking for almost two hours.

Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Joe Biden, Barack Obama: these personalities and many others were targeted on Wednesday, July 15, by a massive hacking of cryptocurrencies on Twitter, raising the issue of cybersecurity.

Messages on these hacked accounts, most of them deleted quickly, specifically urged Internet users to send bitcoins to specific addresses and claim that they would send back in exchange twice as much as transferred.

According to the specialized website Blockchain.com, which tracks transactions made in cryptocurrencies, a total of 12.58 bitcoins, or almost 116,000 dollars, were sent to one of the addresses mentioned in the fake tweets.

“Happy Wednesday! I offer bitcoins to all my subscribers. I double all payments sent to the bitcoin address below,” users of the account read to Elon Musk, head of Tesla.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and famed investor Warren Buffett have been showing messages with similar content for some time.

Those of companies like Apple and Uber, as well as companies that specialize in bitcoin, were also victims of this very large-scale piracy.

Closed accounts

Joe Biden’s campaign indicated that the social network had blocked the Democratic candidate’s account as soon as intrusion was noted to delete the problematic tweet.

“We can confirm that this tweet was not sent by Bill Gates,” a BillGates spokeswoman told AFP.

“You may not be able to tweet or reset your password while we investigate this incident,” the Twitter Support account said late in the afternoon.

For almost two hours, certified users, whose account is decorated with a blue mark, were really unable to publish messages.

“Most of the accounts should be able to tweet again. We are still working to resolve the issue and this feature may disappear and return,” the social network warned in the evening while its certified users, including President Donald Trump, could send messages again.

Fall on the wall

Right after the hack, the company’s stock fell to Wall Street in electronic trading after closing.

“The most likely hypothesis is that hackers entered the Twitter employee’s administration panel, allowing passwords to be changed and disabling multiple-factor authentication,” said Rachel Tobac, president of cybersecurity company SocialProof Security.

Such manipulation, says RachelTobac, could have enabled individuals or harmful groups to take control of the affected accounts.

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The Bluebird network has already been the target of targeted attacks in the past.

By March 2017, many certified accounts, including Amnesty International, the French Ministry of Economy or the BBC North America, had been hacked by suspected hackers, favorable to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Wednesday’s hacking, however, seems to be on a completely different scale and already raised many questions just over three months before the US presidential election, where cyber security issues should be at the forefront.

With AFP