Bitcoin scam attack on prominent Twitter accounts through social engineering
In Europe, only revelers have heard of the sometimes dramatic events that have driven the Twitter community in the past few hours in the United States. Prominent Apple accounts for Bill Gates and Barack Obama were victims of fraud. Which, obviously, was hacked through social engineering.
Last night there was a planned hacker attack on Twitter accounts of many famous personalities, including Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Amazon head Jeff Bezos, musician Kanye West, former U.S. head Barack Obama, Tesla founder Elon Musk and many others.
Most Europeans who already dreamed of better times late at night will miss what happened on Twitter from around 11 pm. Countless accounts, for example from companies such as Apple and Uber, as well as prominent personalities such as rapper Kanye West, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, ex-Microsoft boss Bill Gates or ex-president Barack Obama unexpectedly announced fraud with bitcoins. In which a double amount of cryptocurrency was promised in exchange for a deposit to the spammer’s account.
Why not with Donald Trump?
It is striking that the first verified (blue checkmarks) Twitter accounts were affected. And, obviously, only people or companies for whom the scam would in principle be trustworthy. For example, current U.S. President Donald Trump has clearly gone missing, who probably won’t be able to receive such gifts. But less visible accounts that previously promoted such promotions as a charity. Such as our diamond colleague JerryRigEverything, tweeted:
Hackers may have captured at least $ 100,000
Not least because of this, the hack must have been financially successful, according to the New York Times, at least $ 100,000 transferred to the fraudster. Unfortunately, there is no chance of compensation with this anonymous payment method. How the hack was made possible now seems clearer, just 9 hours after it started.
The security of the accounts, which are usually protected by two-factor authentication, was not compromised. But Twitter is likely to be a bit of a problem. The short message service reacted quite quickly and initially blocked the affected and later even all verified accounts for a certain time until the relevant posts were deleted. But it quickly became clear that the point of attack would be found on the Twitter network itself.
Twitter reacted quickly, saying they were investigating the hack, but it is not yet known how hackers gained access to user accounts. The FBI has already joined the investigation.
A year ago, hackers hacked into the account of the creator of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, and posted a series of messages that contained offensive signs of African-Americans. As well as anti-Semitic statements referring to the Holocaust and the threat of explosions.
Social engineering for Twitter employees?
Twitter support recently also provided information about the apparently used attack method. A hack of the APIs, i.e. the programming interfaces, was suspected by many. At least according to official statements at the current time. But it was more likely a social engineering attack on some employees who had access to the internal systems and tools.
It is not yet known exactly how the employees concerned were courted and persuaded to play in the hack in one form or another. It should be noted that similar hacks and Bitcoin scams have already occurred in the past. It is also on other platforms such as YouTube, as Medium recently reported. What is remarkable about the current case? However, is the central approach and the number of prominent accounts. Which will probably go down in Twitter history this July 15, 2020.
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