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Twitter Reveals Phone Spear Phishing Attack Behind Breach
Twitter recently had one of the largest breaches that saw hackers hijack some of the most prominent accounts on the platform. Two weeks later, Twitter has given us details about what happened and how the hackers were able to gain access to these accounts. In a gist, Twitter says a phone spear phishing attack was the reason.
Twitter Hack: What Happened?
Nearly two weeks ago, a massive breach on Twitter saw hackers take over accounts of well-known personalities, including the accounts of Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Joe Biden, Bill Gates, and others. With the account access in hand, the hackers tweeted a funding message via Bitcoin, making it one of the deadliest attacks.
Twitter Updates About Hack
Soon after the attack, there were multiple speculations that the hackers were able to gain access via employees. A few Twitter employees were also suspected to be part of the hacker's team. Sources from the gray market provided details about a 'Kirk', who was the source of access to internal tools. Yet, it remained unclear how they got access.
Twitter has now provided an in-depth path on how the hackers were able to get internal access. This was via a phone spear phishing attack that targeted a "small number" of employees, who did not all have access to management tools. But, they were able to use the employee "credentials to access our internal systems and gain information about our processes," Twitter said.
The attack on July 15, 2020, targeted a small number of employees through a phone spear phishing attack. This attack relied on a significant and concerted attempt to mislead certain employees and exploit human vulnerabilities to gain access to our internal systems.— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 31, 2020
Going into the details, Twitter provided more information about what the hackers did once they gained access. 130 Twitter accounts were targeted; Tweets from 45 accounts were sent across; The hackers also accessed the DM inbox of 36 accounts; They also copied the account data from seven of these accounts.
Twitter Attack: What Next?
"We are also improving our methods for detecting and preventing inappropriate access to our internal systems and prioritizing security work across many of our teams," Twitter said in a response to the hack. The social media company said it would provide a much more detailed report on what happened.
Twitter is also said to enhance the platform's security and privacy infrastructure. For now, users are advised to ramp up their account privacy as much as they can.