How Donald Trump escaped the attack that brought Twitter to its knees
A major Twitter security breach saw the accounts of many of its highest profile users’ accounts seriously compromised, but not the man who has used the megaphone to the most devastating effect.
While politicians like former President Barack Obama, his VP and current 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden saw their accounts commandeered by Bitcoin scammers seeking a quick buck, the current holder of the office emerged unscathed.
And now we know why President Donald Trump’s account didn’t join luminaries like Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Kanye West, Jeff Bezos and the corporate accounts of Apple and Uber. According to a New York Times report, Trump’s account has “extra protection after past incidents.” Interesting.
The report says:
President Trump’s account was not affected by the breach, Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary, said on Thursday. Mr. Trump’s account got extra protection after past incidents, according to a senior administration official and a Twitter employee, who would speak only anonymously because the security measures were private.
The report raises more questions than answers. What are those additional security measures? Why is Trump more entitled to them than former presidents and high-profile users? And is there any chance the rest of us could have those tools if Twitter is capable of supporting such security?
According to reports, the Bitcoin hackers, who posted from the affected accounts asking them to pledge Bitcoin in order to reveal double the amount in return, had the keys to the entire Twitter kingdom for a period on Wednesday night.
Twitter has said that no passwords were breached and that the assault was a coordinated social engineering attack. In Tweets from its official Support account the company said: “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.”
“We know they used this access to take control of many highly-visible (including verified) accounts and Tweet on their behalf. We’re looking into what other malicious activity they may have conducted or information they may have accessed and will share more here as we have it.”
It’s a shame for the scammers that Trump’s account proved off limits. If anyone on planet Earth is ripe for a blatant Bitcoin scam, it’s the folks who thought it would be a good idea to elect him President of the United States.