Twitter said hackers targeted 130 accounts on Wednesday, part of a cyberattack that succeeded inof Joe Biden, Jeff Bezos, Kim Kardashian West, Bill Gates and other well-known figures. The social media company said the hackers seized control of a “small subset” of the targeted accounts.
Thewas designed to send tweets asking followers of wealthy figures such as Bezos, Elon Musk and Michael Bloomberg to send money to a Bitcoin address. Many of the people who were targeted are among the richest people in the world, based on Forbes’ calculations.
Twitter said Thursday that it’s working with people whose accounts were hacked and assessing whether private data related to the accounts was compromised. The company added that consumers won’t be able to download their own Twitter data while the investigation is ongoing.
Earlier, Twitter had said the company detected what it believed to be “a coordinated social engineering attack by people who successfully targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools.” Once it became aware of the attack, the company said it “immediately locked down” hacked accounts and removed the fraudulent tweets.
The hack has sparked criticism of Twitter’s security policies, as well as an investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James. The FBI has also begun a federal inquiry into the hack, according to the Washington Post.
“Countless Americans rely on Twitter to read and watch the news, to engage in public debate, and to hear directly from political leaders, activists, business executives, and other thought leaders,” James said Thursday in a statement. The hack “raises serious concerns about data security and how platforms like Twitter could be used to harm public debate.”