Washington: The FBI’s San Francisco office said on Friday that it has launched an investigation after hackers accessed Twitter’s internal systems to hijack accounts of several high-profile people such as US presidential candidate Joe Biden, reality TV star Kim Kardashian, former US President Barack Obama and billionaire Elon Musk and used them to solicit digital currency.
“At this time, the accounts appear to have been compromised in order to perpetuate cryptocurrency fraud,” the FBI said in a statement. “We advise the public not to fall victim to this scam by sending cryptocurrency or money in relation to this incident. As this investigation is ongoing, we will not be making further comment at this time.”
A day after the breach, it was not clear if the hackers were able to see private messages sent by the account holders, Al Jazeera reported.
US legislators are worried about such attacks in the future.
“While this scheme appears financially motivated…imagine if these bad actors had a different intent to use powerful voices to spread disinformation to potentially interfere with our elections, disrupt the stock market, or upset our international relations,” US Senator Ed Markey, a Democrat, said in a statement.
Twitter Inc said hackers had targeted employees with access to its internal systems and “used this access to take control of many highly-visible (including verified) accounts and Tweet on their behalf”.
In an extraordinary step, Twitter temporarily prevented many verified accounts from publishing messages as it investigated the breach.