Some employees were manipulated by hackers, says Twitter speaking about the bitcoin scam

    Twitter said several of its employees were manipulated by hackers into providing credentials for internal systems leading to the bitcoin scam that targeted 130 Twitter accounts. 
    By HT TECH
    | Updated on Jul 18 2020, 02:04 PM IST
    While Twitter has been struggling to figure out exactly what happened, the platform has said that the passwords of the hacked accounts were not compromised.
    While Twitter has been struggling to figure out exactly what happened, the platform has said that the passwords of the hacked accounts were not compromised. (REUTERS)
    While Twitter has been struggling to figure out exactly what happened, the platform has said that the passwords of the hacked accounts were not compromised.
    While Twitter has been struggling to figure out exactly what happened, the platform has said that the passwords of the hacked accounts were not compromised. (REUTERS)

    Twitter has said that many of its employees were manipulated by hackers into providing credentials for internal platform systems. This lead to one of the largest hacks Twitter has ever seen and compromised verified accounts belonging to users like Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Joe Biden and others. 

    The hackers posted fake tweets from these verified handles offering $2,000 for every $1,000 sent to an anonymous Bitcoin address. Twitter pulled these tweets down and restricted the accounts as soon as they noticed it, but according to Dmitry Bestuzhev, cybersecurity expert at Kaspersky, within just two hours at least 367 users transferred $1,20,000 ( 90 lakhs approx) in total to the hackers.

    While Twitter has been struggling to figure out exactly what happened, the platform has said that the passwords of the hacked accounts were not compromised. According to the platform, 130 verified accounts were targeted. 

    Speaking about the accounts hacked, Twitter said that hackers were able to reset passwords for about 45 users, while for eight of them hackers downloaded data, including private messages. Twitter mentioned in its blog that data has not been downloaded from any of the verified accounts. 

    Hackers may have also tried to sell the user names of some of the accounts, Twitter said.

    “There are some details — particularly around remediation — that we are not providing right now to protect the security of the effort,” Twitter said in the blog. 

    The platform has not mentioned if the hackers have read any of the private messages from these verified accounts.

    Twitter did not say, for instance, whether the hackers read any of the private messages of world leaders while logged into their accounts.

    Twitter is working with authorities including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to identify these hackers and figure out the extent to which users’ data was compromised.

    (With agency inputs)

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    First Published Date: 18 Jul, 12:42 PM IST
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