Twitter has revealed what it knows so far about the unprecedented attack on its platform that targeted numerous high-profile accounts including Barack Obama, Elon Musk and Bill Gates.
The social media giant states that its internal systems were compromised by hackers, which means they had access to the Twitter employees’ 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,” Twitter said in thread.
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.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 16, 2020
Twitter says the hackers used this access to take control of many highly-visible accounts and tweet from their profiles. The social media giant seems to be suggesting that several people were behind the attack and that numerous employees’ access was compromised.
Following its investigation into the attack, Motherboard says that it spoke to hackers who claim that they paid a Twitter employee to help them take over popular accounts. It’s unknown if this is how the attack happened, and Twitter has yet to comment on this report.
Twitter outlines it’s looking into “what other malicious activity [the hackers] may have conducted or information they may have accessed and will share more here as we have it.”
The social media giant notes that it’s taken steps to limit access to internal systems and tools while its investigation is still on-going.