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Twitter Says Spear-Phishing Attack On Employees Led To Breach

The security breach affected accounts belonging to Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Elon Musk and others.
Credit: Thomas White/ Reuters

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

The social media platform said the hackers targeted about 130 accounts, tweeted from 45, accessed the inboxes 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. The company added it has since restricted access to its internal tools and systems.

Twitter suffered a major security breach on 15 July that saw hackers take control of the accounts of major public figures and corporations, including Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Apple.

The hack unfolded over the course of several hours, and in the course of halting it, Twitter stopped all verified accounts from tweeting – an unprecedented measure.

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.


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