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Twitter: $121,000 Lost, 130 Accounts Affected by Bitcoin Hack

By Eric Volkman – Jul 17, 2020 at 7:51PM

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The FBI and New York state authorities are investigating the incident.

Twitter (TWTR) released further details of the hack it experienced Wednesday afternoon. The microblogging platform announced that the hackers made off with $121,000 worth of bitcoin as a result of the attack.

The hackers accessed high-profile accounts to post Tweets soliciting donations of $1,000 in bitcoin from followers. The text of the Tweets promised that any donors would receive back double that amount. The hackers included a donation page link that was supposedly live for 30 minutes following the postings.

An origami bird made of U.S. paper currency flies away from a man's cupped hands.

Image source: Getty Images.

Roughly 130 of the tech company's higher-profile users were affected. These include the accounts of former U.S. President Barack Obama, CEO Jeff Bezos, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk. All have many followers around the world.

After the incident, Twitter froze many accounts while it investigated the security breach. The perpetrator -- or perpetrators -- are still unknown. No party has yet claimed responsibility.

Through the Twitter Support feed, the company promised to take "aggressive" measures to secure its operations. It also pledged to provide details on these measures and to release updates on the situation generally.

On Wednesday night, the company described the hack as a "coordinated social engineering attack" perpetrated by bad actors who somehow obtained access to its internal operations.

The FBI said Thursday that it is investigating the case. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said that the state's Department of Financial Services is also doing so. The hack impacted accounts belonging to cryptocurrency exchanges, which New York State regulates.

On Friday, Twitter stock rose by 1.5%, eclipsing the gains of the wider equities market.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon, Tesla, and Twitter and recommends the following options: short January 2022 $1940 calls on Amazon and long January 2022 $1920 calls on Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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