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Twitter Insider Behind High-Profile Hacks: Report
Recent Twitter hack has left the security infrastructure of the platform exposed. Linked with a Bitcoin scam, the Twitter account of Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Apple, and others were hacked. For all we know, a Twitter employee could be responsible for the high-profile account takeover that happened on July 15.
Twitter Hack: What Happened
On Wednesday (July 15), high-profile blue-tick verified accounts were hacked. Twitter acknowledged the hijack and said that its internal employee tools were compromised and used to hack accounts. The hackers tweeted to lure followers to send money to a Bitcoin account, one of the biggest scams we've seen so far.
Twitter Insider Behind Hacks?
A report by Motherboard reveals that a Twitter insider is responsible for the recent hacks. The report quotes sources who cite that Twitter insiders could be paid to gain access. As a response, a Twitter spokesperson told the publication that it is still investigating whether the employee hijacked the accounts themselves or gave hackers access to the tool.
Going into the details, the accounts were hijacked using internal tools at Twitter. A few screenshots published reveal the panel and account of Binance - one of the accounts that hackers took over. Further, the sources reveal that the Twitter panel was used to change the ownership of some ‘OG accounts', which have a handle consisting of only one or two characters.
Using a Twitter insider for the hacks is an example of how data is accessed at tech companies. There are other instances where hackers bribe workers to gain access to tools, which leads to some of the biggest account takeovers we've seen. It's speculated that the recent Twitter hack could be a combination of both instances.
Twitter has been investigating the incident. The social media giant notes that it has detected a coordinated social engineering attack by people who have targeted some of Twitter's employees with access to the internal systems and tools.
Furthermore, these access tools were used to take control of the highly-visible 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," the latest tweet read.
This isn't the first time Twitter employees have caused such a stir. Back in 2017, an employee deleted US President Donald Trump's Twitter account before reinstigating it. Employees have also abused their access to spy on various account activities.