On Wednesday, hackers targeted the accounts of 130 personalities, such as the presidential candidate Joe Biden, the entrepreneurs Bill Gates and Elon Musk, or even the former president Barack Obama.
they have “successfully handled a small number of employees” from Twitter. The hackers who orchestrated the spectacular attack on accounts of celebrities and political figures managed to penetrate 45 accounts thanks “the use of tools only accessible to internal support teams”, says the social network in a blog, Saturday July 18. Twitter said that in total the hackers targeted 130 accounts.
Thank you for your continued patience and understanding while we investigate this incident. We’ll continue to provide updates when we have them.
– Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 17, 2020
Among these hacked accounts were political leaders like the Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, former President Barack Obama but also big bosses like Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, Elon Musk, the boss of Tesla or Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft.
From hacked accounts, hackers sent enticing messages inciting subscribers to send bitcoins, a cryptocurrency in exchange for double the amount sent. According to specialized sites, some 100,000 dollars have been sent. Twitter said on Saturday that for eight of these accounts, hackers have also downloaded data, which is normally only available to the account owner. None of these accounts were verified, that is to say endowed with the distinctive small v which increases its credibility and gives certain privileges to users.
Twitter also said that thanks to the tools they had taken control of, hackers managed to cross the barrier of double authentication which normally makes it possible to secure an account beyond a simple password. This spectacular action, which the federal police (FBI) has opened an investigation, has sparked a debate on the security of social platforms.
“New York Times” speaks of “youth group”
This spectacular hacking started from a mysterious hacker having these internal accesses, according to the New York Times, who came into contact with other accomplices involved. The information collected by the daily newspaper thus seems to rule out the thesis of an attack orchestrated by a State or by a known group of hackers. Hacking has been completed “by a group of young people”, one of whom says he still lives with his mother, and who met because of their obsession with hard-to-get usernames, writes New York Times.
The American daily reports having talked at length with several of them, who were all in contact with a certain “Kirk”, in possession of the famous accesses. The latter allegedly told one of the hackers interviewed that he worked for Twitter. According to another, he explained that he had access to internal messages on Slack messaging, where he found a way to connect to the company’s servers.
The hackers interviewed by the New york times claimed to have participated only in the takeover of lesser-known accounts, but in the names prized by certain internet users, in order to resell them for bitcoins.