Twitter ‘Embarrassed’ and ‘Disappointed’ by Major Hack

Jack Dorsey Twitter CEO
Getty/ Drew Angerer

The social media website Twitter is “embarrassed” by the recent hack that saw 130 high-profile accounts hijacked and used to promote a Bitcoin scam, and multiple accounts having their entire account history downloaded.

NBC 4 New York reports that the social media platform Twitter is “embarrassed” by a recent hack that saw 130 accounts affected and multiple high-profile accounts used to promote a Bitcoin scam. Hackers were reportedly able to reset the passwords of 45 of the hacked accounts.

In a blog post, Twitter revealed further details of the hack stating that hackers used the “Your Twitter Data” tool to gain access to the account information of at least eight of the hacked accounts but did not clarify which accounts were affected. The company did say that it would be reaching out to the affected accounts, some of which 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.

Twitter stated in its blog post that the company was “embarrassed,” writing:

We’re acutely aware of our responsibilities to the people who use our service and to society more generally. We’re embarrassed, we’re disappointed, and more than anything, we’re sorry. We know that we must work to regain your trust, and we will support all efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice. We hope that our openness and transparency throughout this process, and the steps and work we will take to safeguard against other attacks in the future, will be the start of making this right.

It has been estimated that the hackers managed to generate around $100,000 from the Bitcoin scams which encouraged the followers of high-profile accounts to send Bitcoin to a particular address in order to receive double the amount of Bitcoin they sent back. Of course, no Bitcoin was ever sent back to those that sent coins to the hackers’ wallets.

But, hackers could reportedly have made off with a lot more than $100,000, with some of the largest Bitcoin exchanges holding back at least $300,000 worth of Bitcoin from attempted transactions according to Forbes. Upon hearing about the hack, multiple exchanges “blacklisted” the hackers’ Bitcoin wallet address preventing users from sending money to the address.

The largest U.S. Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase, said that it prevented just over 1,100 Coinbase customers from sending 30.4 Bitcoin, approximately $280,000, to the scam. Philip Martin, Coinbase chief information security officer, said during an interview with Forbes: “We noticed within about a minute of the Gemini and Binance tweets.”

Around 14 Coinbase users sent $3,000 to the scam Bitcoin wallet before Coinbase blacklisted the hackers’ wallet, Martin said. “It was a vanishingly small group of Coinbase users that tried to send bitcoin to the scam address,” he added.

Jesse Powell, the CEO of the San-Francisco based exchange Kraken, commented: “This hack shows that security is about layers of protection. Somebody has to be watching the admins and setting up alerts to watch for these vulnerabilities.” Powell added: “The Twitter hack was a more widespread event, but scams of this nature are not new. Kraken proactively monitors for this type of activity and blocks certain addresses that we come across. Like any other scam, we proactively blocked the addresses from the Twitter hack earlier this week.”

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 lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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