Twitter says ‘phone spear phishing attack’ used to gain network access in crypto scam breach

” A successful attack needed the attackers to obtain access to both our internal network along with specific worker qualifications that granted them access to our internal support tools. Not all of the employees that were at first targeted had consents to utilize account management tools, however the aggressors utilized their credentials to access our internal systems and acquire information about our procedures. This knowledge then allowed them to target extra employees who did have access to our account assistance tools,” it writes.
” This attack relied on a collective and considerable effort to misguide particular staff members and exploit human vulnerabilities to acquire access to our internal systems,” Twitter adds, calling the occurrence “a striking tip of how crucial everyone on our team remains in safeguarding our service”.
It now states the opponents utilized the stolen credentials to target 130 Twitter accounts– going on to tweet from 45; gain access to the DM inbox of 36; and download the Twitter data of 7 (previously it reported 8, so perhaps one attempted download did not total). All impacted account holders have actually been gotten in touch with straight by Twitter at this moment, per its post.
Especially, the business has still not revealed the number of workers or contractors had access to its account support tools. The greater that number, the bigger the attack vector which might be targeted by the hackers.
Last week Reuters reported that more than 1,000 people at Twitter had access, including a variety of specialists. Two previous Twitter employees informed the news agency such a broad level of access made it tough for the company to defend versus this kind of attack. Twitter declined to discuss the report.
Its update now acknowledges “issue” around levels of worker access to its tools but offers little additional detail– stating just that it has teams “worldwide” assisting with account assistance.
It also declares access to account management tools is “strictly restricted”, and “just given for legitimate organisation reasons”. Later in the blog site post Twitter notes it has “substantially” restricted access to the tools given that the attack, lending credence to the criticism that far too lots of individuals at Twitter were offered access prior to the breach..
Twitters post also supplies very restricted information about the particular strategy the opponents utilized to successfully social engineer a few of its workers and after that be in a position to target an unidentified number of other staff who had access to the key tools. It says the examination into the attack is continuous, which might be an element in how much information it feels able to share. (The blog notes it will continue to provide “updates” as the procedure continues.).
On the question of what is phone spear phishing in this specific case its unclear what specific strategy was effectively able to penetrate Twitters defences. Spear phishing typically describes an individually customized social engineering attack, with the included component here of phones being associated with the targeting.
One security commentator we called recommended a variety of possibilities.
One possibility, for circumstances, is that targeted staff members received a message on their phones which appeared to be from Twitters assistance team, and asked them to call a number. Calling the number might have taken them to a convincing (however fake) helpdesk operator who may be able to trick users out of qualifications.
” Without more information from Twitter its difficult to provide conclusive recommendations, but if something like that happened then telling employees the real support number to call if they ever require to– instead of counting on a message they get on the phone– can decrease the likelihood of people being duped,” Cluley added.
” Equally the conversation could be started by a scammer calling the staff member, maybe using a VOIP phone service and utilizing caller ID spoofing to pretend to be sounding from a legitimate number. Or possibly they broke into Twitters internal phone system and had the ability to make it appear like an internal support call. We need more details!”.

Were sharing an upgrade based upon what we understand today. Well supply a more in-depth report on what occurred at a later date given the ongoing police examination and after weve completed work to additional safeguard our service.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 31, 2020

Last week Reuters reported that more than 1,000 individuals at Twitter had access, consisting of a number of professionals. 2 former Twitter employees told the news agency such a broad level of gain access to made it challenging for the company to safeguard against this type of attack. Twitters post likewise offers really minimal detail about the specific strategy the enemies utilized to effectively social engineer some of its workers and then be in a position to target an unknown number of other staff who had access to the secret tools. One possibility, for circumstances, is that targeted workers received a message on their phones which appeared to be from Twitters assistance team, and asked them to call a number. Or possibly they broke into Twitters internal phone system and were able to make it look like an internal support call.

Twitter has exposed a bit more detail about the security breach it suffered earlier this month when a variety of high profile accounts were hacked to spread a cryptocurrency rip-off– composing in a blog post that a “phone spear phishing attack” was utilized to target a small number of its staff members.
As soon as the attackers had actually successfully acquired network credentials through this social engineering technique they remained in a position to gather enough details about its internal systems and procedures to target other staff members who had access to account assistance tools which enabled them to take control of verified accounts, per Twitters upgrade on the incident.

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