Twitter states hackers downloaded information from as much as 8 accounts

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Angela Lang/CNET

Twitter stated late Friday that hackers who pirated the accounts of prominent users consisting of previous United States President Barack Obama and Microsoft creator Bill Gates to tweet out a bitcoin fraud today likewise downloaded the information from as much as 8 accounts.

The business didn’t determine who owned the accounts however stated those users weren’t confirmed. Obama, Gates and other popular users such as Tesla CEO Elon Musk and rap artist Kanye West who had their accounts jeopardized have actually confirmed Twitter accounts. When users download their Twitter data, it consists of direct messages, images, videos, an address book and other info.

“In cases where an account was taken over by the attacker, they may have been able to view additional information,” Twitter stated in a blog post Friday night. “Our forensic investigation of these activities is still ongoing.”

Politicians and cybersecurity professionals have actually raised issues in the wake of the prevalent hack that the direct messages of a few of the most effective individuals worldwide might have been accessed throughout the attack on Wednesday. If there’s delicate info in these messages, hackers might utilize it for blackmail or ransomware. Twitter’s direct messages aren’t end-to-end encrypted, which would’ve avoided workers from checking out the personal messages.

On Thursday, Twitter stated it thinks that hackers targeted the Twitter accounts of 130 users. Twitter stated Friday that hackers had the ability to reset the passwords of 45 accounts, providing the capability to visit to the accounts and tweet. The assaulters might have attempted to offer a few of the usernames too.

The business stated it thinks the assaulters weren’t able to see a user’s previous passwords. They had the ability to see individual info, consisting of e-mail addresses and telephone number, Twitter stated.

Twitter decreased an ask for a complete list of the targeted accounts due to its continuous examination, in which it’s “continuing to assess whether non public data related to these accounts was compromised.”

Though Twitter has actually dealt with the issue of cryptocurrency frauds in the past, the size of Wednesday’s attack is uncommon, casting a spotlight on the possible security vulnerabilities of the popular social networks platform. Twitter stated it believes that assaulters had the ability to bypass account security defenses such as two-factor authentication after they “successfully manipulated a small number of employees and used their credentials to access Twitter’s internal systems.” The business didn’t state if the workers were fooled into turning over these qualifications or were paid off.

On Wednesday, the accounts of lots of globally well-known figures covering tech, politics and home entertainment published comparable tweets getting contributions through Bitcoin. Apple, Uber and other organizations were likewise captured up in the stretching hack. 

“Everyone is asking me to give back, and now is the time,” a now-deleted tweet from Gates’ account stated, vowing to double all payments to a Bitcoin address for the next 30 minutes.

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This is the fraud tweet sent out from Bill Gates’ account. (The Bitcoin address has actually been gotten rid of from this screenshot.)


Screenshot by Ian Sherr/CNET

“I’m feeling generous because of Covid-19,” Musk’s tweet stated. “I’ll double any BTC payment sent to my BTC address for the next hour. Good luck, and stay safe out there!” All the tweets were consequently erased, and confirmed Twitter accounts, those with a blue check, were briefly silenced.

In addition to Twitter’s examination, the FBI has actually likewise revealed the launch of a probe into the hacking occurrence.



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