A new report indicates that the hackers involved in the high-profile hijacking of Twitter accounts earlier this week were a group of young pals with no links to state or organized crime.
The attack, which Twitter and the FBI are investigating, started with a playful message between hackers on the platform Discord, a chat service popular with gamers, according to the New York Times.
Cybersecurity experts were stunned by the startling revelation that Wednesday’s breach, unprecedented in scale for the social media site, seemingly amounted to youthful hijinks.
‘An incident such as this could have extraordinary serious consequences – manipulation of the markets, disinformation relating to an election, etc,’ Brett Callow, a threat analyst at cybersecurity firm Emsisoft, told DailyMail.com.
‘However, in this case, reporting suggests that the hack was carried out by a group of young people who may have done nothing worse than execute a bitcoin scam,’ he said. ‘Twitter got lucky.’
After hacking Twitter accounts of the likes of Elon Musk, Joe Biden, Barrack Obama and Bill Gates, they made fraudulent posts, which were largely deleted quickly, saying people had 30 minutes to send $1,000 in bitcoin, promising they would receive twice as much in return.
More than $100,000 worth of bitcoin was sent to email addresses mentioned in the tweets, according to Blockchain.com, which monitors crypto transactions.