The social network Twitter has apologized on Saturday after the spectacular attack on celebrities and politicians. The hackers “successfully manipulated a small number of employees,” the company said.
Twitter apologizes. On Saturday, July 18, the social network with the little blue bird claimed that the hackers who orchestrated the spectacular attack on Twitter accounts of celebrities and politicians have “successfully manipulated a small number of employees.” The social network says that it is aware of the blow to users’ trust.
Twitter said the hackers targeted a total of 130 accounts and managed to penetrate 45 of them, thanks to “the use of tools available only to internal support teams”.
That’s a very small number compared to the total number of users (about 330 million users every month or 166 million users every day) but among these hacked accounts were political leaders like Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, former president Barack Obama and big executives like Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, Elon Musk, the head of Tesla or Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft.
The hacker’s goal seemed to serve quickly if one believes their way of working. From the hacked accounts, the hackers sent flirtatious messages urging subscribers to send bitcoins, a cryptocurrency, in exchange for the double amount sent.
According to specialized websites that register bitcoin exchanges but do not allow tracking the recipients, about $ 100,000 has been sent this way.
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Twitter said on Saturday that for eight of these accounts, hackers have also downloaded data, which is normally only available to account owners. None of these accounts have been certified, that is, provided with the distinctive little blue mark that increases their credibility and gives certain privileges to users.
Twitter also said that thanks to the tools they had taken control of, hackers managed to cross the barrier of double authentication, which normally makes it possible to secure an account in addition to a simple password.
The social network has not yet provided any details about the employees involved in this hacking, nor about the identity of the hackers.
There is much speculation about the identity of these eight accounts. We will only reveal this to the affected accounts, but to address some of the speculation: none of the eight were verified accounts.
– Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 18, 2020
They had access to personal information from account holders, including email addresses and phone numbers.
According to the New York Times, it all started with a mysterious hacker who operated under the name “Kirk” and had internal access. The hackers questioned by the Daily claimed that they only participated in the takeover of accounts lesser known, but with names popular with some Internet users to sell them for bitcoins.