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Twitter says 130 accounts were targeted in massive Bitcoin hack

Twitter has released more information about the major hack it suffered on Wednesday, July 15 that resulted in a large number of high-profile accounts tweeting messages as part of a Bitcoin scam.

In several tweets posted on Thursday evening, the company said that around 130 accounts had been targeted in the breach, which is thought to have been enabled after the hackers convinced a number of Twitter employees into giving access to the social media site’s systems.

“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,” Twitter said. But it added that the attackers were only able to tweet from a “small subset” of these accounts.

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. For a small subset of these accounts, the attackers were able to gain control of the accounts and then send Tweets from those accounts.

— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 17, 2020

In another tweet, it said it was working with affected account holders to see if any non-public data had been stolen by the perpetrators. If so, that could mean the hackers were able to view direct messages sent and received by the hacked accounts.

We’re working with impacted account owners and will continue to do so over the next several days. We are continuing to assess whether non-public data related to these accounts was compromised, and will provide updates if we determine that occurred.

— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 17, 2020

In another post, Twitter said it has also been taking “aggressive steps” to secure its systems while it looks into what happened, adding, “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.”

Former President Barack Obama and the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden, were among the hacked accounts. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, entertainer Kanye West, and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg were also targeted, as were tech firms Apple and Uber.

The scam involved a fake tweet that encouraged followers of each account to send payments to a Bitcoin wallet. It had some success, as data on revealed that more than $115,000 via 392 transactions was sent to the Bitcoin wallet posted in the messages.

Twitter is now working with the FBI to try to track down the perpetrators.

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