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FBI Probes High-Profile Twitter Hack That Involved Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Barack Obama

FBI Probes High-Profile Twitter Hack That Involved Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Barack Obama

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is probing the massive hack of Twitter Inc.'s (NYSE: TWTR) social media platform that took place Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported.

What Happened

The cyberattack saw the hijacking of several prominent verified Twitter accounts, including those of high-profile figures Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates, and Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk, and led to concerns about the security of the social media company's systems.

The attackers promoted a scam after taking over the accounts, making away with $100,000 in Bitcoin (BTC) from unsuspecting account followers.

On Thursday, the FBI announced its intention to investigate saying, "at this time, the accounts appear to have been compromised in order to perpetuate cryptocurrency fraud."

Another probe has been launched by the New York Department of Financial Services on the same day, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced, as reported by the Journal.

Reports emerged post the hacking incident that the security at Twitter was compromised by a company insider, while the company claimed that the attack was caused with some employees falling victim to social engineering.

Why It Matters

The hacking is significant due to Twitter's role as a valued platform for political discussion, especially with the United States heading into the presidential general election in November, the Journal noted.

Twitter has not provided the specifics on how the attack was carried out, the nature of tools used by the attackers, or the duration of the security compromise.

The microblogging platform does not believe passwords were compromised during the attack, but did say that the hackers might have accessed information or conducted malicious activity.

Many users of Twitter's services are still unable to access their accounts, including the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's campaign, which lost access due to campaign staff resetting a password following the attack.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany confirmed to the Journal that President Donald Trump's Twitter account was not affected in the hacking incident.

Price Action

On Thursday, Twitter shares traded 0.51% lower at $35.10 in the after-hours session. The shares had closed the regular session 1.09% lower at $35.28.


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