Published:  12:40 AM, 25 July 2020

Twitter says hackers viewed 36 accounts' private messages

Twitter says hackers viewed 36 accounts'  private messages Twitter CEO and Co Founder, Jack Dorsey addresses students at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), on November 12, 2018 in New Delhi, India. -Getty
 
Twitter has revealed that hackers viewed private direct messages (DMs) from 36 of the accounts involved in last week's hack. It did not disclose who they belonged to beyond saying one was owned by an elected official in the Netherlands. But the Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders has told the BBC that this was a reference to his account. Twitter has said that it does not believe any other former or current politicians had their DMs accessed. It is not clear how many of the accounts overlap with the 45 that tweeted a Bitcoin scam.

Last week, Mr Wilders' profile image was replaced with that of a cartoon of a black man, and his account's background image was changed to that of the Moroccan flag. Mr Wilders' Freedom Party is the second biggest party in Netherland's House of Representatives. In the last Dutch election it campaigned to ban Muslim immigration and shut mosques. "I was informed by Twitter last night... that my Twitter account was not only hacked for some days and the hacker also posted tweets on my account and sent DMs in my name, but indeed also got full access to my DMs, which of course is totally unacceptable in many ways," Mr Wilders said. "People critical of Islam or regimes in the Middle East [including those] from within countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia and Syria [have sent me DMs over 10 years] and I do hope they will not be in danger if their identity would be exposed because of this hack. "I had deleted most of them but maybe some were left there for the hacker to see and copy."

Twitter also commented further about the incident as it released its latest earnings. "We've implemented safeguards to improve the security of our internal systems and are working with law enforcement as they conduct their investigations," it said. "We understand our responsibilities and are committed to earning the trust of all our stakeholders with our every action, including how we address the security issue. "We will continue to be transparent in sharing our learnings and remediations."

--- BBC


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