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Twitter lost control of its internal systems to Bitcoin-scamming hackers

Enlarge / A Twitter logo displayed on a smartphone. (credit: Rafael Henrique | SOPA Images/LightRocket | Getty Images)

Twitter lost control of its internal systems to attackers who hijacked almost a dozen high-profile accounts, in a breach that raises serious concerns about the security of a platform that’s growing increasingly influential.

The first signs of compromise occurred around 1 PM California time when hijacked accounts—belonging to Vice President Joe Biden, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and other people with millions or tens of millions of followers—started pumping out messages that tried to scam people into transferring cryptocurrency to attacker-controlled wallets.

In a tweet issued about seven hours after the mass takeover spree began, Twitter officials said the attackers appeared to take control by tricking or otherwise convincing employees to hand over credentials.

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