Twitter Fails To Prevent “Double Your Bitcoin Fraud”
As if 2020 couldn’t get any worse, with a damning pandemic underway and another on its way, locusts attack, racial riots, wildfires that showed apocalyptic scenes, the looming threat of world war III, we are now seeing what can only be proclaimed as the “Mother of all cyber attacks”
Mother of all Cyber-attacks!
Twitter has become the target of a huge hacking campaign whereby the most influential personalities on the platform with verified accounts – were used to commit a cryptography scam. The fact that all these celebrities enjoyed mass followings didn’t help either.
As per Dmitri Alperovitch, who co-founded cyber-security company CrowdStrike:
“This appears to be the worst hack of a major social media platform yet.”
Who were the victims?
Twitter profiles that fell victim belonged to:
- Politicians (President Obama)
- Entrepreneurs (Bill Gates, Elon Musk)
- Media personalities (Mike Bloomberg)
- General Influencers (Kim Kardashian West)
- Musicians (Kanye West)
- Mobile apps (Uber)
Tweets asked people to send $1,000 on a Bitcoin address and promised to send back $2,000 for 30 minutes, in the pretext of “giving back to the community”. In the short period of time that the tweets were viral, the link asking for bitcoins was sent some $100,000 as per blockchain records. Although to any “common sense” guy this sounds like an obvious fraud from miles away and should raise red flags, there is no dearth of people who lack the ability to do so.
Twitter soon acknowledged the incident and told the world that they are aware of the “security incident” and announced the measures they have adopted to deal with it. Twitter has banned all users whose profiles were used for the attack while disabling the tweeting activity of the verified profiles. Their ability to use tools such as HootSuite or TweetDeck with Twitter was also taken away by Twitter.
Here is Twitter’s official position regarding the situation and what their investigation has revealed so far:
Our investigation is still ongoing but here’s what we know so far:
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 16, 2020
A tweet by Twitter CEO – Jack Dorsey:
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.
💙 to our teammates working hard to make this right.
— jack (@jack) July 16, 2020
How Did it HAPPEN?
As per suspicions, the break-in happened as the result of a breach occurring at a high level – the Twitter employee panel. Somehow, the hackers were able to bypass the 2FA and get into the accounts.
Key Takeaway From The Situation
What do we learn from the whole fiasco? Perhaps, it’s the fact that even the world’s smartest and resourceful people can get hacked. Moreover, a social media giant like Twitter can fail to prevent such breaches, whether it’s due to a weak coding infrastructure, social engineering, or a combination of the two.
Fretting over being a Potential Victim?
If you want to find out whether your Twitter account has been breached, you can utilize Ivacy’s cool new cybersecurity utility – LookOut. It scans databases containing information about the hacked accounts and informs you if you are one of the victims in a timely manner.