The hackers that compromised a range of high-profile Twitter accounts last week accessed the direct messages of as many as 36 users, the company said Wednesday evening.
“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,” Twitter said in a tweet. “To date, we have no indication that any other former or current elected official had their DMs accessed.”
The attack last week — which promoted a Bitcoin scam — affected numerous verified accounts including that of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Kim Kardashian West and many others. Twitter has said the attackers compromised the accounts by targeting Twitter employees and gaining access to an internal administrative tool.
While the scope of the incident was massive in its own right, it could merely be the tip of a very large iceberg with vast security implications. Cybersecurity experts and policymakers now worry that the bitcoin scam may mask a much more troubling data breach involving the personal communications of the world’s most powerful people.