Hackers paid Twitter employee to help take down accounts of prominent people – sources

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It is now been alleged that one Twitter employee was paid to assist hackers who took over several high-profile accounts on the social media platform on Wednesday.

The information was confirmed by two hackers who spoke to Vice-owned site Motherboard.

“We used a rep that literally done all the work for us,” one of the sources told Motherboard.

The other source said hackers paid the Twitter insider. Motherboard said it had also obtained screenshots showing the internal tool hackers used in order to gain access to the verified accounts.

The screenshots, which Motherboard shared on its website on Thursday, showed one example of hackers accessing the account of Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange company.

Motherboard said four sources within the underground hacking community had confirmed and shared similar screenshots of the internal Twitter tool hackers used to gain access during the breach.

After the hack was generating huge PR backlash and controversies across the world, Twitter Inc. through its support handle has announced that it has now taken control of all verified accounts that were hacked and used to perpetrate a Bitcoin scam.

In a statement on the Twitter support handle, the company said:

“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.”

Yesterday’s hack attack on the accounts of celebrities, tech billionaires was unprecedented in the history of any social media company.

The attacks were stunning in scope and almost certainly coordinated. Others whose Twitter accounts appeared to be hacked included Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Kanye West, Uber Technologies Inc., Apple Inc. and Michael Bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP. The accounts sent out tweets promising to double the money of anyone sending funds via Bitcoin within 30 minutes.

Twitter said it is aware of the security incident impacting its accounts and is investigating. As the hack was unfolding, 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. The company’s shares declined more than 3% in extended trading.

Yesterday, we reported that the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is leading a federal inquiry into the Twitter hacking.

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Reuters cited two sources familiar with the matter. The investigation will be coming after hackers seized control of accounts belonging to Joe Biden, Kim Kardashian and others in what appeared to be a bitcoin scam.

Earlier the FBI had said: “We are aware of today’s security incident involving several Twitter accounts belonging to high profile individuals. The accounts appear to have been compromised in order to perpetuate cryptocurrency fraud.”

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