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Approx. 130 Accounts Targeted in Twitter Hack, FBI Takes Over Case

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The US federal law enforcement agency FBI has taken the lead in the investigation of Wednesday’s major Twitter hack, which Twitter now says “in some way” affected about 130 user accounts on the major social network.

The image above shows some of the bitcoin flows after the hack. Source: Elliptic

According to an update from Twitter Support Friday morning (UTC time), they are working with affected users to regain access to their accounts, which it said “may take additional time” as extra security precautions are taken to ensure access is only given to the accounts’ rightful owners.

For now, Twitter has not said whether any personal information was compromised in the attack, and in its latest update today the company only said that this is something they are “continuing to assess.” Yesterday, they said they have no evidence that attackers accessed passwords: “Currently, we don’t believe resetting your password is necessary.”

Meanwhile, yesterday, Reuters reported that the FBI is leading the inquiry into the hacking. Further, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also said that the New York Department of Financial Services will investigate the attack, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Following the attack, an advisory was also sent out from the US Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, telling crypto exchanges and other financial institutions with knowledge of the matter to report any suspicious activity believed to be related to the hack.

Additionally, the potentially serious implications of the hack also appear to be sinking in in political circles, with at least two letters so far being sent from members of the US Senate to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

In the first letter, sent on Wednesday, Josh Hawley, a Republican senator from Missouri, expressed concern about the number of users who have had their personal information compromised, as well as whether the security of the President’s own Twitter account was at all threatened by the incident.

Sharing the same sentiment was Republican Senator from Mississippi and Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, Roger Wicker, who in his letter asked Twitter to hold a briefing for his committee on the incident “as soon as possible.”

Meanwhile, in the crypto community, both individuals and companies are also using their own resources to shed more light on who may be behind Wednesday’s attack.

Crypto-focused risk management firm Elliptic said that the bitcoin collected in the scam – which totals about USD 120,000 – has now been moved to 12 new addresses.

“A very small proportion of the funds have been sent to known, regulated crypto exchanges … This is important since it could be an important lead for law enforcement investigators seeking to identify the hacker, as they can ask the exchanges for the identity of the account holder who received these funds,” they said, adding that nearly half of the bitcoins raised were passed through a bitcoin address that has been active since May of this year.

Another blockchain intelligence firm Whitestream claims that this address has previously interacted with the Coinbase exchange and crypto payment processors BitPay and CoinPayments.

Meanwhile, a preliminary analysis by Samourai Wallet’s research arm, OXT Research, appears to show that crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX is also among those that the hacker(s) have previously interacted with.

“This is peak crypto,” Samourai researcher “Ergo” summarized the findings by saying in a tweet posted yesterday.