Sankt-Petersburg, Russia, June 2, 2018: Twitter application icon on Apple iPhone X smartphone screen close-up. Twitter app icon. Social media icon. Social network

Twitter Bitcoin hack targeted around 130 accounts

Image credit: Bigtunaonline/Dreamstime

Twitter has revealed that hackers targeted about 130 accounts during the cryptocurrency cyber attack this week, where profiles of many prominent personalities and organisations were compromised.

Earlier this week, hackers accessed Twitter’s internal systems to hijack some of the platform’s top voices including US presidential candidate Joe Biden, reality TV star Kim Kardashian, former US President Barack Obama and billionaire Elon Musk. The hackers used the accounts to encourage followers to pay Bitcoin into their cryptocurrency wallet under the promise that they would receive double their investment back.

In its latest statement, the social media firm said the hackers were able to control a “small subset” of the targeted accounts and send tweets from them. It 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 founder Jeff Bezos, investor Warren Buffett, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, and the corporate accounts for Uber and Apple. Twitter reiterated that it was working with the account owners impacted by the cyber attack. 

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 cyber attackers committed cryptocurrency fraud in the incident. Publicly available blockchain records show the apparent scammers received more than $100,000 (£80,000) 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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