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Twitter Support Jul 15
Replying to @TwitterSupport
Most accounts should be able to Tweet again. As we continue working on a fix, this functionality may come and go. We're working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible.
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Twitter Support Jul 15
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Our investigation is still ongoing but here’s what we know so far:
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Twitter Support Jul 15
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We detected what we believe to be a coordinated social engineering attack by people who successfully targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools.
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Twitter Support Jul 15
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We know they used this access to take control of many highly-visible (including verified) accounts and Tweet on their behalf. We’re looking into what other malicious activity they may have conducted or information they may have accessed and will share more here as we have it.
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Twitter Support Jul 15
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Once we became aware of the incident, we immediately locked down the affected accounts and removed Tweets posted by the attackers.
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Twitter Support Jul 15
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We also limited functionality for a much larger group of accounts, like all verified accounts (even those with no evidence of being compromised), while we continue to fully investigate this.
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Twitter Support Jul 15
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This was disruptive, but it was an important step to reduce risk. Most functionality has been restored but we may take further actions and will update you if we do.
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Twitter Support Jul 15
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We have locked accounts that were compromised and will restore access to the original account owner only when we are certain we can do so securely.
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Twitter Support Jul 15
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Internally, we’ve taken significant steps to limit access to internal systems and tools while our investigation is ongoing. More updates to come as our investigation continues.
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Twitter Support Jul 16
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Here’s an update addressing questions we’ve heard around passwords and account access specifically:
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Twitter Support
We have no evidence that attackers accessed passwords. Currently, we don’t believe resetting your password is necessary.
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Twitter Support Jul 16
Replying to @TwitterSupport
Out of an abundance of caution, and as part of our incident response yesterday to protect people’s security, we took the step to lock any accounts that had attempted to change the account’s password during the past 30 days.
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Twitter Support Jul 16
Replying to @TwitterSupport
As part of the additional security measures we’ve taken, you may not have been able to reset your password. Other than the accounts that are still locked, people should be able to reset their password now.
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Twitter Support Jul 16
Replying to @TwitterSupport
If your account was locked, this does not necessarily mean we have evidence that the account was compromised or accessed. So far, we believe only a small subset of these locked accounts were compromised, but are still investigating and will inform those who were affected.
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Twitter Support Jul 16
Replying to @TwitterSupport
We're working to help people regain access to their accounts ASAP if they were proactively locked. This may take additional time since we’re taking extra steps to confirm that we’re granting access to the rightful owner.
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Twitter Support Jul 16
Replying to @TwitterSupport
We’ve been working around the clock and will continue to provide updates here.
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Twitter Support Jul 16
Replying to @TwitterSupport
We want to share some more specific updates coming out of the second day of our investigations.
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Twitter Support Jul 16
Replying to @TwitterSupport
Based on what we know right now, we believe approximately 130 accounts were targeted by the attackers in some way as part of the incident. For a small subset of these accounts, the attackers were able to gain control of the accounts and then send Tweets from those accounts.
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Twitter Support Jul 16
Replying to @TwitterSupport
We’re working with impacted account owners and will continue to do so over the next several days. We are continuing to assess whether non-public data related to these accounts was compromised, and will provide updates if we determine that occurred.
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Twitter Support Jul 16
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For all accounts, downloading Your Twitter Data is still disabled while we continue this investigation.
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Twitter Support Jul 16
Replying to @TwitterSupport
We have also been taking aggressive steps to secure our systems while our investigations are ongoing. We’re still in the process of assessing longer-term steps that we may take and will share more details as soon as we can.
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Twitter Support Jul 16
Replying to @TwitterSupport
Thank you for your continued patience and understanding while we investigate this incident. We’ll continue to provide updates when we have them.
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Twitter Support Jul 17
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We’re sharing a blog post that collects the latest on our investigation. It reiterates what we’ve already shared here, and includes a few new findings.
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Twitter Support Jul 17
Replying to @TwitterSupport
As of now, we know that they accessed tools only available to our internal support teams to target 130 Twitter accounts. For 45 of those accounts, the attackers were able to initiate a password reset, login to the account, and send Tweets.
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Twitter Support Jul 17
Replying to @TwitterSupport
We are continuing our forensic review of all of the accounts to confirm all actions that may have been taken.
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Twitter Support Jul 17
Replying to @TwitterSupport
For up to eight of the Twitter accounts involved, the attackers took the additional step of downloading the account’s information through our “Your Twitter Data” tool. We are reaching out directly to any account owner where we know this to be true.
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Twitter Support Jul 17
Replying to @TwitterSupport
Our investigation and cooperation with law enforcement continues, and we remain committed to sharing any updates here. More to come via as our investigation continues.
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Twitter Support Jul 17
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We hope that our openness and transparency throughout this process, and the steps and work we will take to safeguard against other attacks in the future, will be the start of making this right.
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Twitter Support Jul 17
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There is a lot speculation about the identity of these 8 accounts. We will only disclose this to the impacted accounts, however to address some of the speculation: none of the eight were Verified accounts.
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Twitter Support Jul 22
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Our investigation continues, but we wanted to share more specifics about what the attackers did with the accounts they accessed. Following a complete review of all targeted accounts, here is more detail on what we know today:
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Twitter Support Jul 22
Replying to @TwitterSupport
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.
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Twitter Support Jul 22
Replying to @TwitterSupport
We are communicating directly with any impacted account owners, and will share updates here when we have them.
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Twitter Support Jul 22
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We’re hearing confusion around how the 8 accounts we reported yesterday relate to the 36 we reported today. These numbers refer to different things.
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Twitter Support Jul 22
Replying to @TwitterSupport
8 is the number of accounts where an archive of "Your Twitter Data" was downloaded. This includes all of *your* account activity including DMs. None of the YTD downloads impacted Verified accounts.
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Twitter Support Jul 22
Replying to @TwitterSupport
36 is the number of accounts where the attacker took control of the account and viewed the DM inbox on .
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Twitter Support Jul 22
Replying to @TwitterSupport
To recap: 🔹130 total accounts targeted by attackers 🔹45 accounts had Tweets sent by attackers 🔹36 accounts had the DM inbox accessed 🔹8 accounts had an archive of “Your Twitter Data” downloaded, none of these are Verified
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Twitter Support Jul 30
Replying to @TwitterSupport
We’re sharing an update based on what we know today. We’ll provide a more detailed report on what occurred at a later date given the ongoing law enforcement investigation and after we’ve completed work to further safeguard our service.
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Twitter Support Jul 30
Replying to @TwitterSupport
The attack on July 15, 2020, targeted a small number of employees through a phone spear phishing attack. This attack relied on a significant and concerted attempt to mislead certain employees and exploit human vulnerabilities to gain access to our internal systems.
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Twitter Support Jul 30
Replying to @TwitterSupport
By obtaining employee credentials, they were able to target specific employees who had access to our account support tools. They then targeted 130 Twitter accounts - Tweeting from 45, accessing the DM inbox of 36, and downloading the Twitter Data of 7.
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Twitter Support Jul 30
Replying to @TwitterSupport
While these tools, controls, and processes are constantly being updated and improved, we are taking a hard look at how we can make them even more sophisticated.
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Twitter Support Jul 30
Replying to @TwitterSupport
We’ve significantly limited access to our internal tools and systems. Until we can safely resume normal operations, our response times to some support needs and reports will be slower. Thank you for your patience as we work through this.
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