Twitter was never regarded as an unbreakable social media service, but on Wednesday, July 15th, its security platform suffered a meltdown that affected dozens of influential accounts. The primary motivation behind the attack was to promote a wide-reaching Bitcoin scam. Here’s everything we know so far about this large-scale meltdown.
What do We Know about the Bitcoin Scam
A mass takeover of Twitter accounts began at 19:00 UTC, infiltrating the accounts of some of the most prominent crypto advocates among celebrities and politicians. About an hour after this, the hack went mainstream, starting with Elon Musk’s Twitter account.
Soon later, people like Bill Gates, Kanye West, and Michael Bloomberg also joined the party. Jeff Bezos showed up and an hour later and promised $50 million in his tweet. Even Joe Biden and Barrack Obama couldn’t resist promoting this event from their official accounts. All these accounts posted the same message in a span of only a few minutes apart. By 21:00 UTC, the attack moved from to tech companies, causing the most damage to Uber and Apple.
After the attack stopped soon after, most of these tweets were promptly deleted, as the platform’s staff began restoring accounts to their users. Twitter support stated in response to this incident, claiming that this was a “coordinated social engineering attack.”
One of the biggest reasons why this breach happened is the centralized nature of this platform. In addition to this, many security experts are claiming that Twitter employees have “god mode” access to any account on the platform, and can tweet from any user profile. If they’re right, it could explain why hackers could infiltrate so many Twitter accounts without much trouble, even those that have two-factor authentication set up for their profiles.
Soon after all of this happened, analysts determined that the hacked accounts collectively had at least 140 million followers. As news of this meltdown spread across the Internet, this social media platform also experienced a significant plunge in value. Twitter’s stock value dropped 4% in the immediate after-hours of this incident.
Once Bitcoin is Gone, It’s Gone
As an electronic currency, Bitcoin operates exclusively online. You can send it from any device you wish, from anywhere in the world. But, there’s one catch to it that makes problems like this Twitter scam very troublesome. Once this cryptocurrency is off of your account, you can’t get it back. Since there is no intermediary in Bitcoin transactions, once the money is in someone else’s pocket, that’s it.
How Can Bitcoin be Traced?
This scam opened up another discussion on tracking and tracing Bitcoin transactions. With that in mind, although such transactions aren’t confiscable by any middlemen, they can still be tracked and traced. With a little know-how, we can see the ins-and-outs of cryptocurrency transactions, with the details of this one likely to appear in the following days.
If anything, this latest scam has taught us a valuable lesson in financial responsibility. Regardless if you use fiat or cryptocurrencies, it’s paramount to stay safe and be wary of any promises, no matter which direction they’re coming from.