Twitter today released information about the massive hack of accounts of high-profile users from Elon Musk to Joe Biden on July 15. The attack, which Twitter and federal police are investigating, started with a playful message between hackers on the platform Discord, a chat service popular with gamers, The New York Times reported on Friday.
"As the investigation of this incident is unfolding, there are some details - particularly around remediation - that we are not providing right now to protect the security of the effort. We will provide more details, where possible in the future, so that the community and our peers may learn and benefit from what happened," Twitter posted on its official blog this morning.
"At this time, we believe attackers targeted certain Twitter employees through a social engineering scheme. What does this mean? In this context, social engineering is the intentional manipulation of people into performing certain actions and divulging confidential information," the microblogging website run by Jack Dorsey said.
"The attackers successfully manipulated a small number of employees and used their credentials to access Twitter's internal systems, including getting through our two-factor protections. As of now, we know that they accessed tools only available to our internal support teams to target 130 Twitter accounts," Twitter said.
"For 45 of those accounts, the attackers were able to initiate a password reset, login to the account, and send Tweets. We are continuing our forensic review of all of the accounts to confirm all actions that may have been taken. In addition, we believe they may have attempted to sell some of the usernames," it said.
"For up to eight of the Twitter accounts involved, the attackers took the additional step of downloading the account's information through our 'Your Twitter Data' tool. This is a tool that is meant to provide an account owner with a summary of their Twitter account details and activity. We are reaching out directly to any account owner where we know this to be true," Twitter said.
"We became aware of the attackers' action on Wednesday, and moved quickly to lock down and regain control of the compromised accounts. Our incident response team secured and revoked access to internal systems to prevent the attackers from further accessing our systems or the individual accounts. As mentioned above, we are deliberately limiting the detail we share on our remediation steps at this time to protect their effectiveness and will provide more technical details, where possible, in the future," Twitter said.
Posts trying to dupe people into sending hackers the virtual currency bitcoin were tweeted by the official accounts of Apple, Uber, Kanye West, Bill Gates, Barack Obama and many others on Wednesday.
With inputs from AFP