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Twitter hack: 130 accounts targeted

Lucy Harley-McKeown
·2-min read
POLAND - 2020/07/15: In this photo illustration a Twitter logo is seen displayed on a smartphone. (Photo Illustration by Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Photo: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Twitter (TWTR) says that 130 accounts were targeted in the cyber attack that took place on Wednesday.

Of these, 45 were successfully hacked, while eight unverified users’ information was accessed and downloaded.

“In cases where an account was taken over by the attacker, they may have been able to view additional information. Our forensic investigation of these activities is still ongoing,” the company said.

It did not give additional details about what that information might be.

The hack affected US presidential candidate Joe Biden, reality TV star Kim Kardashian, former US President Barack Obama and Tesla (TSLA) tycoon Elon Musk. It used their accounts to solicit digital currency.

Others targeted include rapper Kanye West, Amazon’s (AMZN) Jeff Bezos, investor Warren Buffett and Microsoft (MSFT) founder Bill Gates. Corporate accounts for Uber (UBER) and Apple (AAPL) were also on that list.

Donald Trump was one of the prominent Twitter uses unaffected by this.

Public records show the scam earned the fraudsters more than $100,000 (£79,570) in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

Bitcoin is notoriously difficult to trace, and the “wallets” the currency was put into have already been emptied.

This money is likely to have been split into smaller amounts through a “mixer” or “tumbler” to make it even harder to trace back to the attackers.

Twitter also said the scammers may have tried to sell account names and handles.

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The company set out a four-point plan of next-steps following the incident. This included an employee training scheme.

The FBI is now investigating, according to reports.