Twitter

Hacker attack obviously had completely different targets

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey

.uspg
US PRESS GROUP

Twitter says up to 8 accounts had all their data downloaded during its giant hack suggesting the hackers were after more than just Bitcoin.

The hackers who hijacked dozens of high-profile Twitter accounts this week may have had a second, less visible purpose.

The hack took place on Wednesday when the hackers successfully gained access to accounts belonging to public figures, including Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Kim Kardashian, as well as some company accounts like Apple and Uber.

Hijacking these accounts, the hackers tweeted out a Bitcoin scam, asking followers to send Bitcoin to a specific wallet address and promising to send back double the amount.

Twitter said on Friday that it believed 130 accounts were affected by the hack, and that only a "small subset" actually tweeted anything.

Later that same day in a blog post, Twitter offered some more detail.

"As of now, we know that they accessed tools only available to our internal support teams to target 130 Twitter accounts. For 45 of those accounts, the attackers were able to initiate a password reset, login to the account, and send Tweets," Twitter said.

But sending tweets to a Bitcoin scam doesn't appear to have been the hackers' only objective.

Out of the 130 compromised accounts, Twitter says up to eight had their data fully downloaded by the hackers using the "Your Twitter Data" tool, allowing users to download all the data relating to their account, including their private messages.

Twitter said none of these eight accounts were verified, suggesting they may not have been any of the high-profile celebrity or company accounts that tweeted links to the Bitcoin scam. However, some of the hijacked accounts were popular but unverified accounts (e.g. the popular @TheTweetOfGod).

Twitter gave no details on which accounts these were or what they might have in common. Numerous reports have linked the attack with a community of hackers obsessed with so-called "OG" accounts with super-short Twitter handles.

Cybersecurity journalist Brian Krebs reported that hours before the Bitcoin links started being tweeted on Wednesday, a handful of OG accounts, including "@6," were also hijacked.

Twitter also provided more detail about how the hackers managed to crack into its systems.

Twitter said the hackers had managed to gain access to an internal company tool using a "coordinated social engineering attack".

Social engineering is a term which means hackers manipulate, trick, or convince their target to hand over access to a system, rather than technically hacking.

"The attackers successfully manipulated a small number of employees and used their credentials to access Twitter's internal systems, including getting through our two-factor protections," Twitter said in its Friday blog.

It did not say how the employees were manipulated. On Thursday, Motherboard reported that a source who took part in the hack claimed the attackers paid a Twitter employee.

In its blog, the company said it would be implementing extra training to guard against social engineering.

Twitter says it is still investigating the attack and is working with law enforcement. The FBI is looking into the hack.

The company said it is also restoring access to the account holders who were locked out while it sought to reestablish control of the situation.

At least one affected account appears to have gone back to its owner, as Tesla's Elon Musk started tweeting again late on Friday.

Read more

Fauci says it's 'liberating' working under Biden

Anthony Fauci on Thursday said it has been “liberating” to work as the nation's top infectious diseases doctor under President Biden after his experience working for former President Trump. Speaking at the White House press briefing, Fauci was asked if he feels "less constrained" in the new administration after clashing with Trump and eventually being sidelined last year.

Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem is a stunning vision of democracy

Among the firsts in Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem, “The Hill We Climb,” is the concept of democracy that it assumed. Democracy, according to the twenty-two-year-old poet, is an aspiration—a thing of the future. The word “democracy” first appears in the same verse in which Gorman refers to “a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it.” The insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th took place while Gorman was working on the poem, although the “force,” one may assume, is bigger than the insurrection—it is the Trump Presidency that made the insurrection possible, and the forces of white supremacy and inequality that enabled that Presidency itself.”

Joe Biden urges Americans to join together in appeal for unity

Joe Biden on Wednesday made an appeal for unity to Americans across the political spectrum in his inaugural address as the 46th president of the United States, seeking to turn the page on the divisions of the Trump era. Biden described unity as the path forward in order to contain the coronavirus, restore the U.S. economy, address the effects of climate change, deliver racial justice and mend deep divisions that were laid bare over the last four years.

Joe Biden sworn in as 46th president on family Bible his son Beau used

Joseph Robinette Biden Jr has been sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, promising to marshal a spirit of national unity to guide the country through one of the most perilous chapters in American history. Millions of Americans watched from home as Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath of office to Biden on the steps outside the West Front of the US Capitol, just two weeks after they watched in horror as a mob of supporters loyal to his predecessor stormed the building in a violent last stand to overturn the results of the presidential election.