An unprecedented Twitter attack has been confirmed.
Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Bill Gates are among the Twitter accounts that have been compromised.
President Trump's Twitter account was NOT breached.
At 5:45 EST on Wednesday, July 15, Twitter confirmed:
We are aware of a security incident impacting accounts on Twitter. We are investigating and taking steps to fix it. We will update everyone shortly.
While Twitter has been the target of hackers in the past, this is the largest online attack that the social media giant has ever seen.
The company also prevented ANY verified account with a blue check mark from being able to Tweet anything for at least 2 hours.
The accounts of Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Mike Bloomberg, Kim Kardashian West, Kanye West, Uber, CashApp and more are also among the victims of the hack.
Twitter Support tweeted, "We are aware of a security incident impacting accounts on Twitter. We are investigating and taking steps to fix it. We will update everyone shortly."
The company later added, "You may be unable to Tweet or reset your password while we review and address this incident."
Verified accounts were not allowed to post for about two hours as a precaution.
At 8:41 p.m., hours after the initial hacking, Twitter said things should be mostly back to normal.
"Most accounts should be able to Tweet again," the company wrote. "As we continue working on a fix, this functionality may come and go. We're working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible."
Presidential candidate Joe Biden was among those whose Twitter accounts were hacked.
See a screenshot of his hacked tweet below:
The attack does not appear to be politically motivated, though many politicians were included in the hacking.
Rather, it appears that the hackers wanted people to send them cryptocurrency, specifically Bitcoin.
The New York Times has more details on the historic Twitter hack:
It was about 4 in the afternoon on Wednesday on the East Coast when chaos struck online. Dozens of the biggest names in America — including Joseph R. Biden Jr., Barack Obama, Kanye West, Bill Gates and Elon Musk — posted similar messages on Twitter: Send Bitcoin and the famous people would send back double your money.
It was all a scam, of course, the result of one of the most brazen online attacks in memory.
A first wave of attacks hit the Twitter accounts of prominent cryptocurrency leaders and companies. But soon after, the list of victims broadened to include a Who’s Who of Americans in politics, entertainment and tech, in a major show of force by the hackers.
Twitter quickly removed many of the messages, but in some cases similar tweets were sent again from the same accounts, suggesting that Twitter was powerless to regain control.
The company eventually disabled broad swaths of its service, including the ability of verified users to tweet, for a couple of hours as it scrambled to prevent the scam from spreading further. The company sent a tweet saying that it was investigating the problem and looking for a fix. “You may be unable to Tweet or reset your password while we review and address this incident,” the company said in a second tweet. Service was restored around 8:30 Wednesday night.
Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s chief executive, said in a post later Wednesday night that it was a “tough day for us at Twitter. We all feel terrible this happened. We’re diagnosing and will share everything we can when we have a more complete understanding of exactly what happened.”
The hackers did not use their access to take aim at any important institutions or infrastructure — instead just asking for Bitcoin. But the attack was concerning to security experts because it suggested that the hackers could have easily caused much more havoc.
Though no major details have been released, it has also been confirmed that American intellegince agencies investigated the hack.
It does not appear to be the work of a country like North Korea, China, or Iran.
Rather, the data suggests that this was the work of an individual hacker or group of hackers unaffiliated with a state.
It has also been confirmed that President Trump's Twitter account was NOT targeted or included in the hack.