Twitter hacking
Courtesy: Reuters

It appears that the unprecedented attack on Twitter happened with the collusion of some of its employees itself. The attack that saw the takeover of numerous accounts of many high profile individuals like Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates among many others, is appearing to have not been committed by just one source but a coordinated act of breach by more than one person.

In a series of tweets posted on its channel, Twitter said that its internal systems were attacked by people and that some of its employees may have compromised with access to internal systems and tools.

"We detected what we believe to be a coordinated social engineering attack by people who successfully targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools," Twitter explained in a series of thread.


Underground hackers sharing screenshot of Twitter admin tool 

While it didn't elaborate on what tools the hackers might have accessed to carry out the attack but Motherboard reported that accounts were taken over using an internal admin tool at Twitter.

It shared the leaked screenshots of an internal company admin tool that allegedly was used to conduct the account takeovers. The screenshot is doing the rounds amongst various underground hacking circles.

Hackers paid Twitter employee to gain access

As part of their investigation, Motherboard talked to two hackers who confirmed that they paid a Twitter employee to change the email addresses of some popular accounts using the tool so that they could then take control of them.

Courtesy: Twitter

Going by the leaked screenshot of the internal tool, Motherboard has confirmed that at least some of the accounts appear to have been compromised using the tool changing the email id associated with them.

The screenshots show sensitive details of the target user's account, including information such as whether it has been suspended or has protracted status.

Twitter suspending accounts 

On its part, Twitter is actively deleting similar screenshots of the panel and suspending users who are tweeting them, claiming that the tweets violate its rules.

Twitter hasn't confirmed how the hack was carried out or if the specific internal tool is the only tool that has been compromised. But it said that the company is currently investigating "what other malicious activity they may have conducted or information they may have accessed and will share more here as we have it."


FBI begins investigation

The worst attack on twitter which many says was carried out in order to perpetuate bitcoin scam is bound to spur the debate to increase scrutiny of Twitter's data security practices especially when the US is gearing for upcoming elections in November.

Already Twitter is on the hit list of President Donald Trump and conservatives Republicans after it labelled five of Trump's tweets with fact checks and warnings for violating its policies.

FBI, indeed, has begun its investigation into the hacking, Reuters reported Friday.

Early Saturday, addressing issues around password safety and account accessibility, Twitter on it channel said that now account holders do not need to reset their password. 

"We have no evidence that attackers accessed passwords. Currently, we don't believe resetting your password is necessary."