Twitter says 130 accounts were affected in its giant hack

  • Twitter said Thursday it thinks 130 accounts were affected by its recent huge hack.
  • On Wednesday high-profile accounts belonging to dozens of public figures including Joe Biden, Elon Musk, and Kim Kardashian tweeted links to a Bitcoin scam.
  • Twitter’s investigation suggests the hack was broader than just this Bitcoin scam.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Twitter’s investigation into the Wednesday’s hack which affected high-profile accounts belonging to Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Kim Kardashian and many more, has found some 130 accounts were affected.

“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 in a statement on Thursday.

On Wednesday dozens of high-profile accounts started tweeting a Bitcoin scam, asking followers to send money to a Bitcoin wallet address and promising to send back double the amount. Twitter’s stock slid the day after the hack, wiping $1.3 billion off its market value.

Twitter’s statement hinted that although the high-profile accounts were very visible, the attack was broader than just the Bitcoin scam. “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 added it will work with the affected account holders over the next few 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,” it added.

Non-public data could constitute private messages belonging to the impacted accounts.

Twitter said on Wednesday the hack was a “social engineering attack by people who successfully targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools.”

Social engineering is a term which means a hack where the attackers trick or convince someone into handing over access, rather than hacking into a system by technical means.

Screenshots obtained by Business Insider, as well as a report by Motherboard, indicate the hackers had gained access to an internal Twitter dashboard that allowed them to change the email addresses tied to people’s accounts. TechCrunch reported something similar, that the hackers gained access to an internal admin tool.

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