Twitter Inc’s (NYSE:TWTR) co-founder and chief executive Jack Dorsey has apologised after several of the platforms high-profile users including Elon Musk, Kanye West and Barack Obama saw their accounts hacked to promote a Bitcoin scam.
On Wednesday night, the hacked accounts began sharing a message that said users that sent US$1,000 to a linked Bitcoin address would see the money doubled and then returned under the guise of giving back to the community during the coronavirus pandemic.
Other prominent accounts hacked with the message were Bill Gates, Amazon Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) boss Jeff Bezos and Democratic Party presidential candidate Joe Biden.
In a tweet overnight, Twitter said it believed the incident was part of a “coordinated social engineering attack by people who successfully targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools”.
“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… Internally, we’ve taken significant steps to limit access to internal systems and tools while our investigation is ongoing”, the company added.
Meanwhile, Dorsey tweeted on Thursday morning that it had been a “tough day” for the platform and that the company was diagnosing the issue and will share the results of its investigations.
“We all feel terrible this happened. We’re diagnosing and will share everything we can when we have a more complete understanding of exactly what happened”, he said.
Shares in Twitter were down 5.5% at US$33.70 in pre-market trading in New York on Thursday.