On Wednesday, Twitter fell victim to hackers who used a “coordinated social engineering attack” to compromise some of Twitter’s highest-profile accounts—including those belonging to Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Kanye West—to launch a crypto scam targeting those users’ followers. The scammers ended up with multiple accounts and more than $120,000 in untraceable Bitcoin payments—an amount that pales in comparison to the damage to Twitter’s brand.
This was a particularly flashy breach, but in the end, it was just another in a long parade of cybersecurity incidents at high-profile and smaller companies alike. While cybersecurity advances have hardened IT infrastructure and made it increasingly difficult to hack systems remotely, criminals have a logical way around these measures: targeting the employees who are already inside the systems. This wasn’t even the first time Twitter has fallen victim to a social engineering attack.