Twitter claims that 130 accounts in total were targeted by hackers who recently hijacked high profile accounts on the platform belonging to some of the most prominent individuals in the world including Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Apple.
CNBC reports that Twitter has revealed that the accounts of 130 people on its platform were targeted in a recent hack that saw multiple high-profile accounts hijacked in order to promote a Bitcoin scam which reportedly generated over $100,000 for hackers.
The accounts hijacked include Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden, Former President Barack Obama, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and the official accounts of ridesharing service Uber and tech giant Apple.
In a recent tweet from the Twitter Support account, Twitter revealed the scale of the hack, stating that approximately 130 accounts were targeted. “Based on what we know right now, we believe approximately 130 accounts were targeted by the attackers in some way as part of the incident,” the company stated.
Based on what we know right now, we believe approximately 130 accounts were targeted by the attackers in some way as part of the incident. For a small subset of these accounts, the attackers were able to gain control of the accounts and then send Tweets from those accounts.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 17, 2020
Alex Stamos, the former chief security officer of Facebook, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Thursday: “These attackers were the equivalent of stealing a McLaren F1, taking it for a joyride and then crashing it into a telephone pole 4 minutes later. There is so much more damage that could have been done.”
“The biggest area of risk for almost any company is the insider threat,” said Stamos. “To operate your business, you have to provide data and access to thousands and thousands of employees.”
Twitter stated that it is “working with impacted account owners and will continue to do so over the next several days.” The company added: “We are continuing to assess whether non-public data related to these accounts was compromised, and will provide updates if we determine that occurred.”
The full extent of the hack is currently unknown but Jackie Singh, the founder of Spyglass Security, recently told Newsweek: “Absolutely, 100 percent that the DMs could have been compromised. I mean it looks like they [the hackers] had ‘god mode’ with seemingly few limitations and we don’t know how long they had it for.”
Singh told Newsweek: “Attackers were reportedly able to change the email address for some of the accounts. I believe it to be fully within the realm of possibility that specific accounts may have had their direct messages compromised. They clearly had capability to target certain accounts, as confirmed by the timing of the attack. We saw specific, verified, and high-follower, accounts tweet the scam message first in varying order, then a cascade of other, normal accounts tweet it.”
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Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address email@example.com