Joseph Cox of Motherboard writes about the hijacking of several high profile Twitter accounts on July 15, 2020. Many Twitter accounts were hijacked on July 15, 2020, tweeting messages containing a cryptocurrency scam, accounts such as those of Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Apple, and more were compromised in the attack. Cox writes “A Twitter insider was responsible for a wave of high profile account takeovers on Wednesday, according to leaked screenshots obtained by Motherboard and two sources who took over account.” The accounts were taken over by an internal tool used at Twitter according to sources that contacted Motherboard. Twitter tweeted later stating that “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 use of social engineering to conduct attacks in not new and can be extremely dangerous. Social engineering is essentially convincing or manipulating a person with access to confidential or private information to provide them with access to that information – whether the person realizes it or not. Social engineering attacks can be as simple as receiving a phishing email and accidentally following a malicious link in the email to provide an attacker with credentials to accounts. The account hijacking at Twitter is an example of the consequences of such an attack.
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