The hackers who orchestrated the spectacular attack on the Twitter accounts of celebrities and political figures have ” successfully handled a small number of employees’ from Twitter, the social network said in a blog on Saturday. Twitter says that in total hackers targeted 130 accounts and managed to break into 45 thanks to “The use of tools only accessible to internal support teams”. Among these hacked accounts were politicians like the Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, former President Barack Obama but also big bosses like Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, Elon Musk, the boss of Tesla or Bill. Gates, the founder of Microsoft.
From the hacked accounts, the hackers sent flirtatious messages urging subscribers to send bitcoins, a cryptocurrency in exchange for double the amount sent. According to specialized sites which record bitcoin exchanges but do not allow the recipients to be traced, some 100,000 dollars have been sent in this way. Twitter said on Saturday that for eight of those accounts, the hackers also uploaded data, which is normally only accessible to the account owner. None of these accounts was verified, ie endowed with the distinctive little v which increases their credibility and gives certain privileges to users.
Twitter also indicated that thanks to the tools they had taken control of, hackers were able to overcome the barrier of two-factor authentication that normally allows an account to be secured beyond a simple password. This spectacular action, on which the federal police (FBI) opened an investigation, triggered a debate on the security of social platforms a few months before the presidential election in November in the United States but also on the possible consequences if hackers arrived to seize the account of Donald Trump, who often conducts his diplomacy on Twitter, where he has 83.5 million subscribers.