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Cryptocurrency Scam Targets Twitter


Image via Markus Spiske on Unsplash

It was just last week when Twitter shares jumped after a pair of online job postings hinted that the company may be working on a subscription platform


Just a few days later Twitter has once again made the news, albeit not for as good of a reason. On Wednesday evening Twitter was hit with what the company describes as a "coordinated social engineering attack" that hit Twitter's most prominent accounts.


Accounts belonging Elon Musk, Joe Biden, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Barack Obama were among those that were hit and subsequently tweeted a message asking followers to send money to a bitcoin address. The messages were similar, saying they wanted to give back to their followers and offered to double any payment received.


"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 said.


Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted "Tough day for us at Twitter. We all feel terrible this happened. We’re diagnosing and will share everything we can when we have a more complete understanding of exactly what happened."


Twitter hasn't provided much of an update on the hack, so far saying "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.."


"We have no evidence that attackers accessed passwords. Currently, we don’t believe resetting your password is necessary." Twitter added. "We’ve been working around the clock and will continue to provide updates here."


The hack caused Twitter to delay the launch of its API yesterday, while Twitter claims it doesn't believe the launch of the API had been related to the hacking incident.


Shares of Twitter largely shook off the hack, with shares closing down just over 1% after being down by more than 5% at the open yesterday.

The hacking incident immediately led to a call from Senator Josh Hawley to look into the issue with the FBI and the Justice Department. The FBI has reportedly already opened a federal inquiry into the hacking.


"I am concerned that this event may represent not merely a coordinated set of separate hacking incidents but rather a successful attack on the security of Twitter itself," Hawley wrote in a letter to Twitter. "A successful attack on your system's servers represents a threat to all of your users' privacy and data security."


With so many prominent people using Twitter to communicate, the hacking incident is likely to lead to even more calls for the company to beef up its security.


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