A host of Twitter accounts from some of the world’s most recognisable figures have been hacked as part of an apparent bitcoin scam.
The social media platform revealed it’s investigating the incident, which saw the accounts of US presidential candidate Joe Biden, former President Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Floyd Mayweather and Kanye West hacked.
Releasing a statement late into Wednesday night, the social media site said: “We are aware of a security incident impacting accounts on Twitter.
“We are investigating and taking steps to fix it. We will update everyone shortly.”
Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, said: “Tough day for us at Twitter. We all feel terrible that this happened.
“We’re diagnosing and will share everything we can when we have a more complete understanding of exactly what happened.”
A whole host of celebrities fell victim to the scam, which appealed to users to send donations to the same BTC address as part of a false charitable cause.
Further escalating the severity of the hack, it seemed that accounts verified with a blue tick were also halted in posting any new posts.
Buzzfeed’s Nidhi Prakash reported the following from the Biden campaign: “Twitter locked down the account immediately following the breach and removed the related tweet. We remain in touch with Twitter on the matter.”
Furthermore, via its Twitter Support handle, Twitter offered the following update on Thursday morning as it progressed its investigation: “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.
“We know they used this access to take control of many highly-visible (including verified) 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.
“Once we became aware of the incident, we immediately locked down the affected accounts and removed Tweets posted by the attackers.
“We also limited functionality for a much larger group of accounts, like all verified accounts (even those with no evidence of being compromised), while we continue to fully investigate this.
“This was disruptive, but it was an important step to reduce risk. Most functionality has been restored but we may take further actions and will update you if we do.
“We have locked accounts that were compromised and will restore access to the original account owner only when we are certain we can do so securely.
“Internally, we’ve taken significant steps to limit access to internal systems and tools while our investigation is ongoing. More updates to come as our investigation continues.”