“yoo bro,” wrote a user named “Kirk,” according to a screenshot of the conversation shared with The New York Times. “i work at twitter / don’t show this to anyone / seriously.”
He then demonstrated that he could take control of valuable Twitter accounts — the sort of thing that would require insider access to the company’s computer network.
The hacker who received the message, using the screen name “lol,” decided over the next 24 hours that Kirk did not actually work for Twitter because he was too willing to damage the company. But Kirk did have access to Twitter’s most sensitive tools, which allowed him to take control of almost any Twitter account, including those of former President Barack Obama, Joseph R. Biden Jr., Elon Musk and many other celebrities.