By Chidinma Ufomadu
Twitter has confirmed that scammers hijacked the official accounts of some high-profile personalities in a bid to swindle individuals of their money.
The American microblogging and social networking service stated that it is working to fix the “security incident” which happened on Wednesday.
It further stated in a tweet that “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.”
The official twitter accounts of Joe, Biden, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Jeff Bazos, Kim Kardashian, Barack Obama, Uber, amongst others were involved.
“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’s support team said late Wednesday.
The hackers were said to have posted tweets trying to engage people into sending cryptocurrency bitcoin is a scam.
The scammers used the official twitter handles of Bill Gates and other accounts which they hacked to state that, “Everyone is asking me to give back and now is the time. I am doubling all payments sent to my BTC address for the next 30minutes.
“You send $1,000, I send you back $2,000.
BTC Address – bc1qxy2kgdygjrsqtzq2n0yrf2493p83kkfjhx0wlh.
Only going for 30minutes! Enjoy!”
Twitter further stated that “Once we became aware of the incident, we immediately locked down the affected accounts and removed Tweets posted by the attackers.
“We have locked accounts that were compromised and will restore access to the original account owner only when we are certain we can do so securely.”
Following the incident, Twitter put a restriction on verified accounts and they were not able to tweet but non-verified accounts could still tweet.
Around 1:30 am Nigeria time, about three hours after Twitter first tweeted that it was investigating the hijack of some high-profile accounts, slightly above two hours it shut down tweeting for some accounts.
The restrictions on the verified accounts were, however, removed and twitter had this to say:
“Most accounts should be able to Tweet again. As we continue working on a fix, this functionality may come and go’
“We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible. 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.”