Twitter says 130 accounts targeted in this week's cyberattack

Twitter says 130 accounts targeted in this week's cyberattack
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Twitter said Thursday night that 130 accounts were targeted in a hacking incident this week that constituted one of the biggest security breaches suffered by the social media platform.

Among those whose accounts were hacked were former President Obama, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts MORE and Tesla CEO Elon MuskElon Reeve MuskOn the Money: Dow breaks 30,000 for first time as Biden transition ramps up | Consumer confidence falls as COVID-19 rages | Grocery, retail workers urge reinstatement of hazard pay ahead of holiday rush Elon Musk passes Bill Gates to become world's second-richest person in Bloomberg rankings SpaceX capsule arrives at International Space Station MORE.

“Based on what we know right now, we believe approximately 130 accounts were targeted by the attackers in some way as part of the incident,” the company tweeted. “For a small subset of these accounts, the attackers were able to gain control of the accounts and then send Tweets from those accounts.”


The incident began Tuesday night, when several high-profile verified Twitter accounts began tweeting out posts asking users to send them money through bitcoin. Twitter later said hackers targeted employees with access to internal systems and tools in what the company described as a successful “coordinated social engineering attack.” 

While the posts were quickly taken down by Twitter and verified accounts were partially locked down for hours to ensure no other accounts posted the message, the individuals responsible raised the equivalent of over $115,000. 


Accounts compromised also included those of Amazon CEO Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosElon Musk passes Bill Gates to become world's second-richest person in Bloomberg rankings How space exploration will help to address climate change Bezos makes first donations from billion Earth Fund MORE and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. The accounts of major companies including Uber and Apple were also targeted. 

Twitter said Thursday night that it was working with the owners of the targeted accounts and that the company was still assessing whether “non-public data” was compromised during the hacking incident. Experts have raised concerns that sensitive direct messages tied to the accounts could have been accessed and that other data may have been stolen. 

“We have also been taking aggressive steps to secure our systems while our investigations are ongoing,” the company tweeted. “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 is not alone in assessing the incident. The FBI said Wednesday that it had opened an investigation into the attack, while New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoHundreds protest over NY bar owners arrested for coronavirus violations The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Dem leaders back smaller COVID-19 relief bill as pandemic escalates Supreme Court sees new requests for religious COVID-19 carve-outs MORE (D) directed state agencies to separately investigate the incident. 

A bevy of bipartisan lawmakers on Capitol Hill have also zeroed in on Twitter following the attack, with panels including the Senate Commerce and Homeland Security committees requesting briefings Wednesday on the hacking incident.