The Twitter accounts of many prominent people and companies have been hacked in a major cyber-security breach.
Tweets published on Twitter accounts of the likes of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Jeff Bezos, and many others appeared to be publishing a Bitcoin Scam.
According to the Associated Press and multiple outlets, the accounts were targeted as part of a bitcoin scam. Tweets sent from these accounts offered to pay $2,000 for every $1,000 sent to a bitcoin address.
In order to address the hack, which began affecting these verified accounts and others on Wednesday afternoon, Twitter made it so that all verified accounts could no longer post new tweets.
Verified Twitter accounts, designated by blue checkmarks, could retweet posts including their own, but that’s about it. Otherwise, any celebrity, company (including Apple and Uber), public figure, journalist, or other checking account was pretty much rendered voiceless.
“We’re continuing to limit the ability to Tweet, reset your password, and some other account functionalities while we look into this,” the Twitter Support account tweeted on Wednesday night. “Thanks for your patience.”
Verified accounts had their powers restored sometime around 8:30 p.m. ET.
Twitter blamed the turmoil on a “coordinated attack” by people who successfully targeted some of their employees with access to internal systems and tools. “The company added late Wednesday that is looking into what other malicious activity they may have conducted or information they may have accessed.”
The Department of Homeland Security’s Cyber-security and Infrastructure Security Agency referred questions about the incident to Twitter.