Hackers targeted around 130 accounts this week, says Twitter in latest statement

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By Euronews
Twitter said around 130 accounts were targeted by hackers.
Twitter said around 130 accounts were targeted by hackers.   -   Copyright  OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP or licensors

Hackers targeted around 130 Twitter accounts during a cyber attack this week, Twitter said in its latest statement released late on Thursday. 

Unidentified hackers broke into the Twitter accounts of technology moguls, politicians, celebrities and major companies on Wednesday in an apparent Bitcoin scam.

The ruse included bogus tweets from former president Barack Obama, Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg and a number of tech billionaires, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Celebrities Kanye West and his wife, Kim Kardashian West, were also hacked.

"Based on what we know right now, we believe approximately 130 accounts were targeted by the attackers in some way as part of the incident," the company said in a statement. 

"For a small subset of these accounts, the attackers were able to gain control of the accounts and then send Tweets from those accounts."

The social media giant said it was continuing to assess whether the attackers were able to access private data of the targeted accounts.

The fake tweets said people had 30 minutes to send $1,000 (€875) in the cryptocurrency to anonymous Bitcoin email addresses and would receive double the amount in return. 

The accounts received almost 12.9 bitcoins, an amount currently valued at slightly more than $116,000 (over €100,000). 

The FBI’s San Francisco division is leading an investigation into the hack.

Twitter also said in the statement it was taking "aggressive steps" to secure its systems. 

"We’re still in the process of assessing longer-term steps that we may take and will share more details as soon as we can."