Updated: July 16, 2020 12:01:04 pm
In a massive security breach, hackers accessed Twitter’s internal systems to hijack some of the platform’s top handles including US presidential candidate Joe Biden, reality TV star Kim Kardashian, former US President Barack Obama, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and billionaire Elon Musk. All the hijacked handles were used to solicit Bitcoin and many on the platform were amused by how the hackers had silenced some of the biggest voices with one move.
The hijacked accounts sent out tweets seeking funds via Bitcoin and promising to double them if they were sent within 30 minutes. Twitter said it was aware of the security incident impacting its accounts and is investigating the issue. As the investigation unfolded, verified Twitter accounts suddenly lost the ability to post new tweets.
“You may be unable to Tweet or reset your password while we review and address this incident,” Twitter wrote on its support account.
You may be unable to Tweet or reset your password while we review and address this incident.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 15, 2020
The Bitcoin address tweeted by the hackers was sent over 12 Bitcoins, worth more than $120,000. It appeared that popular Bitcoin exchange Coinbase has blocked its users from sending money to the address.
The hashtags #Hacked, #Bitcoin, ‘Blue checks’ and ‘Blue Tick’ were among the most dominant trends on the platform.
Many commented on the security issues this highlighted but others saw the funny side of how once instance of hacking had silenced some of the world’s most powerful voices. Many tweeted sarcastic jokes and memes over the security breach, whiel others mocked verified handles since they wouldn’t be able to tweet for several hours.
— Mike Coudrey (@MichaelCoudrey) July 15, 2020
— Doland_chacha_America_wale (@dolandwale) July 16, 2020
— Megamind (@freddyted1) July 15, 2020
— Andrew (@Andrew_H__1) July 15, 2020
— Ashish Dodray (@ashishjr07) July 15, 2020
— Malcolm FleX🇺🇸 (@Malcolm_fleX48) July 15, 2020
— ℭℜ7 ⁞♩⁽💎🌩₎⇣𖤍⚡ (@cr7_ronaldooo7) July 15, 2020
— Colleen McNamara ☘️ (@cmcubfan) July 16, 2020
— Amanda Ach (@amandaach) July 15, 2020
— Southern_Raised_SportsGuy (@SSportsguy) July 15, 2020
Unverified Twitter to Verified Twitter now pic.twitter.com/vrUARJGFSD
— Marzi “Anyone can wear the mask” (@MarziPandorica) July 15, 2020
— al (@alisonelaineee) July 16, 2020
VERIFIED TWITTER: This website will never survive without us.
REGULAR TWITTER: pic.twitter.com/7iIPzGEm0c
— Mike Beauvais (@MikeBeauvais) July 15, 2020
Verified accounts: *Unable to tweet*
All of Twitter: pic.twitter.com/jQRSyh6qhb
— ♠️Ender | BLM✊🏽 (I must use this pfp for a week) (@SpadesEnder) July 15, 2020
Chief Executive Jack Dorsey said the company was diagnosing the problem and pledged to share “everything we can when we have a more complete understanding of exactly what happened.”
After accounts were restored, he tweeted, “Tough day for us at Twitter. We all feel terrible this happened.”
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