Hackers took over dozens of high-profile Twitter accounts of Wednesday as part of a bitcoin scam, Business Insider reports.
The accounts included Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, Mike Bloomberg, and numerous others.
The accounts all posted messages urging people to send $1,000 to a bitcoin address with the promise that their money would be doubled.
As accounts continued to be taken over, Twitter blocked all verified accounts for tweeting for several hours.
Twitter says hackers targeted employees:
“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 social network said Wednesday night.
“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.”
Report says employee was paid:
Two sources who took over the accounts told Vice that they paid a Twitter employee for access. The company told the outlet that it is still investigating whether the employee hijacked the accounts or whether they gave access to a backend tool to the hackers.
"We used a rep that literally done all the work for us," one of the hackers told Vice.
“The accounts were taken over using an internal tool at Twitter, according to the sources, as well as screenshots of the tool obtained by Motherboard. One of the screenshots shows the panel and the account of Binance; Binance is one of the accounts that hackers took over today,” Vice reported.