Twitter has revealed that over 100 accounts, including those of famous people, were targeted earlier this month because its staff were tricked into giving away their support credentials to online scammers.
The intruders “targeted a small number of employees through a phone spear phishing attack,” Twitter reported in its security update.
Spear phishing is a popular method used by cyber criminals to steal personal information. The scammers send emails, masquerading as a legit entity – usually an existing company, agency or NGO – to dupe the victims into surrendering their passwords, credit card numbers and other sensitive data.
The phishing attack on Twitter allowed the hackers to steal the “credentials” of employees with access to “account support tools,” the company said. From there, the criminals targeted 130 Twitter accounts. They tweeted from 45 hijacked profiles, accessed the DMs of 36, and downloaded the data from seven.
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On July 15, the scammers hijacked the accounts of former US President Barack Obama, US presidential candidate Joe Biden, billionaires Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, rapper Kanye West and his wife, model Kim Kardashian, among others. The hackers posted tweets advertising a cryptocurrency scheme, and reportedly managed to collect more than $100,000 in bitcoin donations.
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