Washington DC [USA], July 16 (ANI): 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.
In a letter addressed to Twitter on Wednesday, Hawley, who has been one of the tech industry's fiercest critics on Capitol Hill, said that the social media giant should work with the FBI and Justice Department after hackers took over the accounts of celebrities, Democratic politicians and billionaires, including former President Barack Obama, businessman Bill Gates, rapper Kanye West and former Vice President Joe Biden, as well as accounts of tech companies like Apple and Uber.
"I am concerned that this event may represent not merely a coordinated set of separate hacking incidents but rather a successful attack on the security of Twitter itself," Hawley wrote to company CEO Jack Dorsey.
"As you know, millions of your users rely on your service not just to tweet publicly but also to communicate privately through your direct message service," he said.
"A successful attack on your system's servers represents a threat to all of your users' privacy and data security," the letter read.
All fake tweets instructed people to send cryptocurrency to the same bitcoin address. The tweets were removed throughout the afternoon, shortly after being posted.
There have been hacks of high-profile individual accounts on Twitter before, including Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey last year. But the widespread nature of this attack suggested an unusually broad access to internal controls, according to The Washington Post.
While it was unclear how the attacks originated or why they went on for hours, some cybersecurity experts speculated that someone may have gained access to internal Twitter controls that allowed them to take over and post on the accounts.
Hawley also sent a list of questions asking Twitter about its security measures and seeking transparency about who exactly was targetted. President Donald Trump, a prolific Twitter user and critic of social media companies, is yet to weigh in, but his campaign spokesperson, Tim Murtaugh, compared the scam to Biden's tax plan in a snarky tweet.
Meanwhile, the attack also partially shut down the network. Twitter said in a tweet on Wednesday afternoon that some users were not able to tweet while it was addressing the incident. Users with the checkmark indicating that their accounts were verified by Twitter reported that they were not able to tweet.
Twitter started letting verified accounts tweet again on Wednesday night but warned the "functionality may come and go" as it worked on a fix to the breach. Later the same night, Dorsey tweeted that the company was "diagnosing and will share everything we can when we have a more complete understanding of exactly what happened." He called it a "tough day" at Twitter.
The social media giant said in a later tweet that it "detected a coordinated attack by people who successfully targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools." The hackers used that access to take over the accounts. (ANI)