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Friday Jul 31 2020

Spear-phishing attack on employees led to breach, says Twitter

The US microblogging site suffered a major security breach this month that saw hackers take control of public figures’ accounts. Photo:

Twitter has said the large hack two weeks ago which targeted a small number of employees through a phone was a “spear-phishing” attack.

The US  microblogging site said the hackers targeted about 130 accounts, tweeted from 45, accessed inbox of 36, and were able to download Twitter data from seven.

Attackers also targeted specific employees who had access to account support tools, Twitter said here adding that it restricted access to its internal tools and systems ever since the incident occurred.

Hackers had accessed Twitter’s internal systems on July 15 to hijack some of the platform’s top voices including US presidential candidate Joe Biden, reality TV star Kim Kardashian, former US President Barack Obama, and billionaire Elon Musk and used them to solicit digital currency.

Read more: Bitcoin scam: Twitter accounts of Bill Gates, Obama, Musk and others hacked

Publicly available blockchain records show the apparent scammers received more than $100,000 worth of cryptocurrency.

The “spear-phishing” technique is a practice of sending emails ostensibly from a known or trusted sender in order to induce targeted individuals to reveal confidential information.

Reuters reported last week that more than a thousand Twitter employees and contractors as of earlier this year had access to internal tools that could change user account settings and hand control to others, making it hard to defend against the hacking.