Social media felt the heat of a group of hackers who bypassed Twitter’s security system and access list to take over verified accounts on the micro-blogging platform.
Accounts belonging to world billionaire, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, US presidential candidate, Joe Biden, Kim Kardashian, former president Barack Obama, rapper Kanye West, among many others were hacked – used to solicit digital currency.
Nearly two hours after the first wave of hacks, the cause of the breach had not yet been made public. In a sign of the seriousness of the problem, Twitter took the extraordinary step of preventing at least some verified accounts from publishing messages altogether.
It was not clear whether all verified users were affected but, if they were, it would have a huge impact on the platform and its users. Verified users include celebrities, journalists, and news agencies as well as governments, politicians, heads of state, and emergency services.
Twitter did not offer clarification but said in a statement that users “may be unable to tweet or reset your password while we review and address this incident.”
The unusual scope of the problem suggests hackers may have gained access at the system level, rather than through individual accounts. While account compromises are not rare, experts were surprised at the sheer scale and coordination of Wednesday`s incident.
“This appears to be the worst hack of a major social media platform yet,” said Dmitri Alperovitch, who co-founded cybersecurity company CrowdStrike.
See screenshots below: