Some of the world’s biggest brands, companies, and celebrities spread a Bitcoin scam on Wednesday. Hackers gained access to a Twitter Admin tool that allowed them to take over accounts of the world’s biggest influencers. The hack is raising major questions about Twitter’s security but the exposure of Twitter’s Admin tools that allowed the hackers to launch their scheme is likely to have an even bigger impact.

Accounts that pushed the scam includes Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Elon Musk, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Jeff Bezos, and too many others to list. Hackers pushed a message from the rich and powerful offering to give back by doubling any transfer of Bitcoin to a specific address. It’s not a complicated scam that has been used and recycled for years.

The scam resulted in the transfer of at least 12 bitcoins, according to a report in TechCrunch. Valued at more than $100k the Bitcoin haul from the hack is relatively small. It could have been much worse because the amount the reach from all those accounts was massive.

Twitter’s Admin Tools

Twitter Admin tool exposed by the hack have raised concerns. There have been calls for government hearings and investigations to determine how these functions have been used. Conservatives have long known that Twitter suppresses rightwing content but today’s hack verifies our claims. Hackers released screenshots reported to be of Twitter’s Admin panel.

According to another TechCrunch report, Twitter is removing tweets and suspending users who share a screenshot reported to be of the admin panel:

“The tool appears to allow users — ostensibly Twitter employees — to control access to a user’s account, including changing the email associated with the account and even suspending the user altogether. (We’ve redacted details from the screenshot, as it appears to represent a real user.)”

The panel reveals just how simple the company has made it for employees to manipulate what content gets seen. Buttons labeled “Trends Blacklist” and “Search Blacklist” appear to show just how easy it is for a Twitter employee to “shadow ban” a user. The company has long denied that it “shadow bans” users.

Blue Checks Silenced

One of the highlights of the hack was the silencing of verified accounts while Twitter tried to contain the breach. Without the verifieds, a great meme rush began:

For a moment, Twitter transformed into utopia:

Sadly, it appears that the verified accounts have been restored but we’ll always remember that glimpse of what could be.

Twitter’s Response

Twitter promised internal investigations and reviews in a series of tweets that left nearly every question unanswered.

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