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Photo illustration: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The hackers who compromised high-profile Twitter accounts this week were a "group of young people" who connected over an interest in "owning early or unusual screen names," the New York Times reported Friday.

Why it matters: That the hackers weren't state-backed or tied to a sophisticated criminal enterprise will likely come as a relief to the public figures — among them Elon Musk, Barack Obama and Bill Gates — who were targeted. But the scheme sowed chaos and uncertainty all the same.

Details: The Times interviewed four people claiming responsibility for the hack and verified their accounts through logs of conversations held while the attack took shape, as well as bitcoin transactions only the hackers could have performed.

  • The hackers used their access to high-profile accounts to promote a scam soliciting bitcoin.
  • The characterization of the attackers as a group of young, amateur hackers who have a track record of targeting accounts with short, catchy handles like @y and @6 squares with intel that has circulated in hacking and cybersecurity circles since Wednesday's scam.

Go deeper

Twitter to label state-affiliated media accounts

Photo Illustration: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Twitter will begin labeling accounts belonging to state-affiliated media outlets from countries on the U.N. Security Council, it announced Thursday.

The big picture: The new policy will affect “outlets where the state exercises control over editorial content” in China, France, Russia, the U.K., and the U.S., according to the announcement.

Acting Capitol Police chief: Phone logs show Jan. 6 National Guard approval was delayed

Pittman at a congressional tribute for fallen officer Brian Sicknick. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Acting U.S. Capitol Police chief Yogananda Pittman testified on Thursday that cellphone records show former USCP chief Steven Sund requested National Guard support from the House sergeant-at-arms as early as 12:58pm on Jan. 6, but he did not receive approval until over an hour later.

Why it matters: Sund and former House sergeant-at-arms Paul Irving clashed at a Senate hearing on Tuesday over a dispute in the timeline for when Capitol Police requested the National Guard during the Capitol insurrection.

Manhattan prosecutors reportedly obtain millions of pages of Trump's tax records

Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Manhattan district attorney is now in possession of millions of pages of former President Trump's tax and financial records, CNN first reported, following a Supreme Court ruling that allowed prosecutors to enforce a subpoena after a lengthy legal battle.

Why it matters: Trump fought for years to keep his tax returns out of the public eye and away from prosecutors in New York, who are examining his business in a criminal investigation that was first sparked by hush-money payments made by Trump's former fixer Michael Cohen during the 2016 election.

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