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US teen who hacked high-profile people's Twitter pages charged

US teen who hacked high-profile people's Twitter pages charged

By Iva Danford
Saturday 01/08/2020

A 17-year-old boy from Florida allegedly hacked the Twitter accounts of prominent politicians, celebrities and technology moguls to scam people around globe out of more than $100,000 in Bitcoin.

He faces 30 felony charges.

The hacks led to bogus tweets being sent out July 15 from the accounts of Barack Obama, 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.

Twitter previously highlighted that hackers used the phone to fool the social media company's employees into giving them access and a small number of employees through a phone spear-phishing attack."

Spear-phishing is a more targeted version of phishing, an impersonation scam that uses email or other electronic communications to deceive recipients into handing over sensitive information.

The company tweeted "This attack relied on a significant and concerted attempt to mislead certain employees and exploit human vulnerabilities to gain access to our internal systems"

After stealing employee credentials and getting into Twitter's systems, the hackers were able to target other employees who had access to account support tools.

The hackers targeted 130 accounts.

They managed to tweet from 45 accounts, access the direct message inboxes of 36, and download the Twitter data from seven.

Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders has said his inbox was among those accessed.

Twitter said it would provide a more detailed report later given the ongoing law enforcement investigation.

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. It didn't provide any more information about how the attack was carried out, but the details released so far suggest the hackers started by using the old-fashioned method of talking their way past security.

[Source: NZ Herald]

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