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Twitter Says Direct Messages Accessed in 36 of 130 Hack Victims

July 23, 2020by Kartikay Mehrotra, Bloomberg News (TNS)
Former President Barack Obama speaks during the unveiling of his official portrait at the National Portrait Gallery on Feb. 12, 2018 in Washington, D.C. Obama, along with other of the world's most prominent Twitter users including Bill Gates and Elon Musk, had their Twitter accounts hacked in a Bitcoin scam on Wednesday. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

Twitter Inc. completed its review of the 130 accounts that were hacked on its social network last week and discovered that the attackers accessed direct messages for as many as 36 of them, including one elected official in the Netherlands.

Twitter’s analysis offered no indication that “any other former or current elected official had their DMs accessed,” according to a post late Wednesday by the Twitter Support account. A Twitter spokesperson confirmed that neither former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden nor President Barack Obama’s DMs were accessed.

Both had their accounts compromised in the July 15 breach, along with high-profile users such as Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk.

In its prior update on the hack, the company said several of its employees were manipulated by hackers into providing credentials for internal systems. The hackers were able to reset passwords for 45 users, while eight had their data, including private messages, downloaded entirely, Twitter said in a blog post late Friday. The hackers may have also tried to sell the user names of some of the accounts, the San Francisco-based company said at the time.

The hijacking of several prominent accounts, including Biden’s, has raised questions about the platform’s security, but especially in the context of the 2020 presidential election in November. The statement doesn’t rule out the infiltration of direct messages used by other prominent hack victims, including Bezos, Musk and Bill Gates.

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©2020 Bloomberg News

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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