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Twitter hackers accessed messages of far-right leader Geert Wilders

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By Euronews  with AP
Geert Wilders was among 36 account holders whose direct messages were accessed in last week's Twitter hack.
Geert Wilders was among 36 account holders whose direct messages were accessed in last week's Twitter hack.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert, File

Twitter says an elected official in the Netherlands was among 36 account holders whose direct message inboxes were accessed in last week's high-profile hack.

Geert Wilders, from the right-wing Freedom Party (PVV) said on Thursday that he was informed that his account had been compromised by Twitter.

Scammers had posted tweets on his account and sent false direct messages, or DMs, in his name.

World leaders, celebrities, and tech moguls were among 130 accounts that were targeted in a high-profile scam last week.

The hack appeared designed to lure Twitter followers into sending money to an anonymous Bitcoin account.

Twitter revealed more details of the intrusion on Wednesday after completing a review of the hacked accounts.

"To date, we have no indication that any other former or current elected official had their DMs accessed," the company said in a statement.

"We are actively working on communicating directly with the account-holders that were impacted."

Attackers sent tweets from 45 of the targeted accounts, while 8 accounts - none of which were 'verified' - had an archive of “Your Twitter Data” downloaded.

The company has previously said the incident was a “coordinated social engineering attack” that targeted some of its employees with access to internal systems and tools.

Wilders described the hack as "totally unacceptable in many ways" and signalled his return to the platform on July 17 with a hashtag #NoMoreHack.

"We’re acutely aware of our responsibilities to the people who use our service and to society more generally," Twitter said in a blog post.

"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."

We hope that our openness and transparency throughout this process, and the steps and work we will take to safeguard against other attacks in the future, will be the start of making this right.

An investigation into the hack is ongoing.

Click on the video player above to watch Seana Davis' report in #TheCube.