Twitter now believes that one elected official had their direct messages (DMs) accessed in the massive hack that took place on July 15th.
The social media company shared via its ‘Twitter Support’ account that “up to 36 of the 130 targeted accounts” had DMs accessed, including an elected official from the Netherlands.
“To date, we have no indication that any other former or current elected official had their DMs accessed,” Twitter wrote.
Twitter didn’t name the Dutch official, but The Verge says local media reported on a far-right, anti-Islam politician named Geert Wilders that had his account hacked. During the hack, his account retweeted several conspiracy theories, and Wilders’ profile photo was replaced with a caricature of a Black man and Moroccan flag. Further, a Dutch radio station interviewed a hacker who claimed to have access to Wilders’ DMs.
We believe that for up to 36 of the 130 targeted accounts, the attackers accessed the DM inbox, including 1 elected official in the Netherlands. To date, we have no indication that any other former or current elected official had their DMs accessed.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 22, 2020
Twitter previously reported that attackers attempted to download the “Your Twitter Data” archive for up to eight accounts. That data does include DMs. However, the company said none of those accounts were verified, which rules out most politicians and high-profile users. It’s also worth noting that while hackers were in control of accounts, they could look at DMs.
Twitter also previously reported that for 45 of the targeted accounts, attackers were able to reset the password, log in and tweet. That included high-profile users like Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Kanye West, Barack Obama and Joe Biden. It remains unclear what overlap, if any, there is between these 45 accounts and the 36 that had DMs accessed.