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Photo: Oliver Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Twitter has determined that hackers accessed the personal data of up to eight non-verified accounts affected by a cryptocurrency-related scam earlier this week.

The state of play: The social media company said late Friday that 130 accounts were targeted, and only 45 successfully breached. The hackers downloaded user data through a tool intended to give an account owner a summary of their Twitter details and activity.

  • Twitter has not identified the affected users.
  • The company noted that hackers exploited some employees, stating: "The attackers successfully manipulated a small number of employees and used their credentials to access Twitter's internal systems, including getting through our two-factor protections."
  • "As of now, we know that they accessed tools only available to our internal support teams..." the company said.

Twitter has determined the hackers were not state-actors, but a "group of young people" who connected over an interest in "owning early or unusual screen names," the New York Times reported.

Go deeper

Elliott Broidy says Twitter should take action on other hack and leak stories

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Elliott Broidy, a top Republican fundraiser expected to plead guilty in a foreign lobbying case, is challenging Twitter over its handling of content related to "hacked materials."

What's happening: Broidy wants Twitter to explain why information from hacked and leaked materials about his case was allowed to remain on the site, while Twitter took swift action to suppress a New York Post story about Hunter Biden allegedly based on hacked and released materials, according to a letter obtained by Axios.

Oct 16, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Twitter changes hacked materials rules after banning N.Y. Post story

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Twitter will be changing its hacked materials policy in response to the feedback it received for limiting the circulation of a New York Post story about Hunter Biden.

Why it matters: The tech giant faced swift backlash from conservatives that its actions were biased and that its enforcement of its hacked materials policy was not consistent.

Facebook and Twitter, the reluctant gatekeepers

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Deciding who gets to say what online is a complex business in the best of times, and the 2020 election is showing social media platforms just how messy it can get.

The big picture: Balancing concerns over misinformation, hacking and foreign meddling against free-speech principles is already hard enough. Tackling it in real time in the middle of a political knife fight is almost certainly going to go awry.