The hackers who turned the high-profile Twitter accounts of world leaders and celebrities into tools for anonymously receiving bitcoin targeted 130 people and were able to reset the passwords of 45, officials said.
(TNS) — The hackers who turned the high-profile Twitter accounts of world leaders and celebrities into tools for anonymously receiving Bitcoin targeted 130 people and were able to reset the passwords of 45, the social media company said in a statement on Saturday. The hack, which had public figures like Barack Obama, Kanye West and Warren Buffett promoting the Bitcoin scam through tweets, is among the most prominent and troubling in recent memory.
“We’re embarrassed, we’re disappointed, and more than anything, we’re sorry. We know that we must work to regain your trust, and we will support all efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice,” Twitter said in its statement.
According to the company, the hackers were able to manipulate Twitter employees into giving up confidential information, allowing them to access Twitter’s internal systems and bypass security measures on the affected accounts. Though Twitter says that they are working with law enforcement to identify those responsible, and that they’re improving their security measures, this incident still stands out as an alarming example of its vulnerability, which can potentially have much greater consequences than embarrassment and a bit of stolen money.
“Entire markets and potentially elections may be manipulated or altered in this way,” Allison Nixon, chief research officer at cybersecurity firm 221B, told AP. “Victims of account takeovers generally do not know that the fraud has occurred, and generally cannot take security precautions to prevent it.”
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