A Twitter employee was involved in the hacking of the accounts of Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Kanye West, Apple and other famous users. “We use a representative who literally did all the work for us,” one of the sources assured Motherboard . Another source claimed that the hackers paid the said Twitter employee.
A Twitter spokesperson, before this news, told Motherboard that the company is investigating whether it was the employee who carried out the hack or, on the contrary, only provided access to the necessary tools to the real hackers .
Shortly after the news release on Motherboard , Twitter tweeted the following: “We have detected what we believe to be a coordinated social engineering attack successfully targeting some of our employees with access to internal tools and systems.”
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.
– Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 16, 2020
Internal Twitter tools, the key of the matter
According to a series of screenshots obtained by Motherboard , some of the accounts appear to have been hacked by a change in the associated email address. To do this, hackers would have used an internal Twitter tool. Various captures have come to light from this utility, some of which have been published by Motherboard .
One of the screenshots obtained by Motherboard shows the details of Binance in the aforementioned internal tool . Binance has been one of the accounts hacked for the past few hours.
The social network has temporarily suspended the account to some users who, through Twitter, shared screenshots of this tool in the last few hours. It also removed tweets that include this internal information.
Cryptocurrency as a hook
The hackers used Twitter accounts of people recognized for criptomonedas improperly. The mechanics were simple: A famous profile like that of Elon Musk publishes a tweet saying that he wants to donate cryptocurrencies. People who want to benefit only have to make a small transfer to the cryptocurrency portfolio indicated in the tweet. After that, the user promises to return each person a higher amount of cryptocurrencies.
The latter, obviously, never happens. The problem is that, since the tweet has been published by a verified account – Bill Gates, Elon Musk, etc. -, it is possible that many people take it as true.
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