FBI launches probe into widespread Twitter hack

Washington: Following a massive attack during which several high-profile accounts were hacked, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have launched a probe into the widespread hack.

The Wall Street Journal reported that FBI launched a probe into the widespread hack amid larger concerns that the vulnerability of company’s systems could pose broader risk to international security.

The hack, which lasted for hours, saw the accounts of prominent personalities including US presidential hopeful Joe Biden, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Microsoft Co-founder Bill Gates and of Apple getting simultaneously hacked on Wednesday.

According to the WSJ report, while the social media giant hasn’t disclosed specifics about the hack, security experts believe the attack might have focused on the company’s internal account-reset systems, which are used to help users regain access to their accounts after losing their phones or forgetting their passwords.

The FBI said on Thursday in announcing its probe that “at this time, the accounts appear to have been compromised in order to perpetuate cryptocurrency fraud.” Twitter is cooperating with the investigation, said the agency.

Twitter, was quoted as saying that that the hackers used “social engineering” techniques, where employees are tricked into clicking a link, divulging information or otherwise aiding outsiders. It said the hackers might have accessed information or engaged in other malicious activity adding that it has “taken significant steps to limit access to internal systems” while it investigates the incident.

The WSJ cited US officials as saying the disruption could have implications for national security, given that the platform is used by politicians for communication. Even the federal agencies use it to share information about natural disasters and other emergencies.

This was also not the first time when Twitter’s internal systems were compromised, the previous incident being in 2017 when US President Donald Trump’s twitter account was deactivated for 11 minutes.

Allison Nixon, chief research officer at cyber services company Unit 221b, said she was contacted by the FBI on Wednesday in connection with the Twitter hack. Chainalysis said it has been contacted by several federal law-enforcement agencies about the matter, reported WSJ.

American Senator Josh Hawley urged Twitter to cooperate with federal law enforcement and take necessary measures to secure the site before the cyber breach hacking accounts of technology moguls, politicians, celebrities and major companies in an apparent Bitcoin scam further expands.