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Twitter says about 130 accounts were targeted in cyberattack this week

Twitter says hackers were able to gain control of a “small subset” of the targeted accounts

Thomson Reuters · Posted: Jul 17, 2020

The Twitter accounts of Bill Gates, Barack Obama and Kim Kardashian West were among those hacked earlier this week. (Ludovic Marin, Michael Sohn, Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

Twitter Inc. disclosed late on Thursday that hackers targeted about 130 accounts during the cyberattack this week, an incident in which profiles of many prominent personalities and organizations were compromised.

Hackers had accessed Twitter’s internal systems to hijack some of the platform’s top voices including U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden, reality TV star Kim Kardashian, former U.S. president Barack Obama and billionaire Elon Musk and used them to solicit digital currency.

In its latest statement, Twitter said that the hackers were able to gain control to a “small subset” of the targeted accounts, and send tweets from them.

The company added that it was continuing to assess whether the attackers were able to access private data of the targeted accounts.

The high-profile accounts that were hacked also included rapper Kanye West, Amazon.com Inc founder Jeff Bezos, investor Warren Buffett, Microsoft Corp co-founder Bill Gates, and the corporate accounts for Uber Technologies Inc and Apple Inc.

Twitter reiterated that it was working with impacted account owners.

The FBI’s San Francisco division is leading an inquiry into the hacking, with many Washington lawmakers also calling for an accounting of how it happened.

The law enforcement agency said that cyberattackers committed cryptocurrency fraud in the incident. Publicly available blockchain records show the apparent scammers received more than $100,000 US worth of cryptocurrency.

“We’re still in the process of assessing longer-term steps that we may take and will share more details as soon as we can,” Twitter added in its statement.

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