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Twitter says its internal systems & tools were used by hackers to take control of accounts

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Twitter has shed some light on the unprecedented attack on Wednesday that resulted in numerous takeovers of high-profile accounts including those of President Barack Obama, Democratic candidate Joe Biden, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

In a series of tweets posted under its support channel, Twitter said that its internal systems were compromised by the hackers, confirming theories that the attack could not have been conducted without access to the company’s own tools and employee privileges.

“We detected what we believe to be a coordinated social engineering attack by people who successfully targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools,” the first tweet in a multi-tweet explainer thread reads.

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“We know they used this access to take control of many highly-visible (including verified) accounts and Tweet on their behalf.”

It seems as if Twitter is acknowledging here that numerous people appear to have been involved in the hacks, not just one individual, and also that numerous employees were compromised, too.

Twitter does not elaborate on what tools the attackers accessed or how exactly the attack was carried out, but it was being reported that various underground hacking circles have been sharing screenshots of an internal company admin tool allegedly used to conduct the account takeovers, potentially by resetting account email accounts and then recovering passwords.

The company says it’s currently investigating “what other malicious activity they may have conducted or information they may have accessed”.

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It’s theoretically possible that attackers may have had access to private direct messages, for instance. Those responsible for the attack appeared to use the account takeovers as a way to promote a bitcoin scam, one that resulted in people sending nearly $120,000 worth of the cryptocurrency to the digital wallet address listed in nearly all of the tweets, blockchain records show.

Twitter accounts of Elon Musk, Joe Biden, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffet & others hacked