Twitter Hack Exposes Frailty of Centralized Social Media Platforms
On July 15, 2020, a massive hack described as “a coordinated social engineering attack” by Twitter targeted multiple high-profile users, including Tesla’s Elon Musk, investor Warren Buffet, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and many others.
The attack prompted Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to say that it was a tough day for the social media platform.
— jack (@jack) July 16, 2020
The hack which targeted crypto users suggests that scammers managed to either find a severe security loophole in Twitter’s login recovery process or that they somehow gained access to a Twitter employee’s admin privileges.
In swift action from the Twitter Support Team, they halted the actions for some accounts and informed them that they would not be able to tweet or change their passwords while the team is working on it.
Other Accounts Also Targeted
Apart from prominent Twitter accounts, Square’s Cash App was also targeted, with hackers posting a tweet that contained a different BTC address from the ones posted to the other accounts.
Moreover, various company Twitter accounts, including those of Gemini exchange and prominent crypto wallet app Coinbase, were also hacked in yesterday’s breach.
At press time, the hackers have accumulated about $120K in Bitcoin, though it seems the account owner is sending funds back to affected users as the daily wallet balance has moved up and down throughout the day.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, in particular, has been a favorite of BTC scammers on Twitter for a long time, with scammers creating fake accounts fashioned to look like the Billionaire’s and responding to his tweets to lure in victims.
Twitter Scam Exposes Vulnerabilities of Centralized Social Media
With many social media users increasingly concerned about their online data privacy, which can be collected without permission on centralized platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, decentralized social media platforms have emerged as a popular and safer alternative.
The latest Twitter breach prompted Sen. Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican, to send a letter to Twitter CEO Dorsey urging him to work with the FBI and the Justice Department to improve Twitter’s security.
The hack comes at a rough time for Twitter, struggling to retain ordinary users due to privacy and security concerns.