Twitter has shed some light on the unprecedented attack on Wednesday that resulted in numerous takeovers of high-profile accounts including those of former President Barack Obama, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
In a series of tweets, Twitter said its internal systems were compromised bu hackers, confirming theories that the attack could have been conducted without access to the company’s own tools and employee privileges.
“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,” the first tweet in a multi-tweet explainer thread reads. “We know they used this access to take control of many highly-visible (including verified) accounts and Tweet on their behalf.”
The social media did not elaborate on what tools the attackers accessed or how exactly the attack was carried out. Motherboard, however, reported that various underground hacking circles have been sharing screenshots of an internal company admin tool allegedly used to conduct the account takeovers, potentially by resetting account email accounts and then recovering passwords.