Twitter apologizes for hacking celebrity accounts

Twitter apologizes for hacking celebrity accounts

The person in charge was helped by the employees of the social network. Among the 45 compromised accounts were those of Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk.

Twitter apologized on Saturday (July 18, 2020) as hackers accessing celebrities and politicians’ accounts did so for “successfully manipulating a small number of employees” in a blow to user trust, it acknowledged the social network.‚Äč Twitter did not provide details on the identities of the employees or hackers involved in the attack, which it has defined as “gamers,” or fans of video games.

The company explained in a blog post that the hackers compromised 130 accounts and gained access to 45 thanks to “using tools that only internal support teams have access to.” “We are ashamed, disappointed and most importantly, sorry. We know we need to regain our trust and we will support all efforts to bring those responsible to justice,”they admitted.

Affected by the attack include politicians such as Democratic US presidential candidate Joe Biden or former President Barack Obama, as well as big businessmen such as Amazon business group founder Jeff Bezos; electric car company Tesla’s Elon Musk, the head; and Bill Gates, the founder of computer giant Microsoft. Twitter said Saturday that hackers also downloaded data from eight of the accounts that only the owners could access, such as account holders’ email accounts or phone numbers.

The purpose of the attack appears to be purely economic. Hackers sent messages from accounts they accessed to encourage Twitter users to make so-called donations in the bitcoin cryptocurrency, promising to double their donations.

Although the identity of the recipient cannot be known, around $100,000 was sent through this mechanism, according to a website dedicated to recording bitcoin transactions. However, the fact that the personal data of at least eight users was downloaded may indicate that the operation had other intentions than simply collecting bitcoin payments.

Twitter has not identified the affected users, saying only that “no” they “have verified accounts,” characterized by a blue icon that excludes celebrities and well-known companies whose profiles were stolen during the operation.

The FBI investigated the attack, sparking a debate over the security of social networks months before the U.S. presidential election in November. And, as to what would happen if hackers managed to gain access to the account of US President Donald Trump, a frequent diplomatic man on Twitter, where he has 83.5 million subscribers.

Twitter added that it continues to work to restore access to users whose accounts have not been recovered, continues to investigate the incident, and will improve employee training to prevent new security breaches from happening again.

The person in charge was helped by the employees of the social network. Among the 45 compromised accounts were those of Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk.

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