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Friday, August 14, 2020

Hackers reportedly paid Twitter staffer to help with high-profile attack

Hackers paid a Twitter employee who helped them carry out an unprecedented attack on several high-profile accounts, a report says.

The Twitter insider allegedly worked with hackers to take over the accounts of Tesla chief Elon Musk, former president Barack Obama, tech tycoon Bill Gates, Joe Biden and others, according to Motherboard.

One of the anonymous hackers involved in Wednesday’s attack told the outlet they paid the employee for their help, though the terms of their purported deal are unclear.

“We used a rep that literally done all the work for us,” another hacker told the tech news site published by Vice News.

The accounts were taken over with an internal Twitter tool that shows various details about the identity and status of user accounts, such as whether the email address has been confirmed and whether the account has been suspended, according to screenshots Motherboard published.

Twitter told Motherboard that it’s still investigating whether its employee allowed hackers to access the tool or used it to take over the accounts themselves.

The company referred The Post’s questions to its Wednesday statement on the attack, which acknowledged that hackers “successfully targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools,” and used that access to take control of high-profile accounts owned by Apple, Uber, Kanye West and others.

San Francisco-based Twitter said it has moved to limit access to its internal systems and tools while it investigates the incident, which it called “a coordinated social engineering attack.”

“We’re looking into what other malicious activity they may have conducted or information they may have accessed,” Twitter said in a series of tweets.

The hack sent Twitter shares tumbling 5.1 percent in premarket trading Thursday to $33.83 as of 7:19 a.m.


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