More than a thousand people, which include Twitter employees and contractors, earlier this year had access to internal tools that could change account settings, according to former employees. The firm and the FBI are probing into the hack that permitted hackers to repeatedly tweet from verified accounts of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and more.
Twitter stated on Saturday that the hackers “manipulated a small number of employees and used their credentials” to access tools, and take control of 45 accounts, whilst it revealed on Wednesday that 36 accounts also had their direct messages accessed. The firm did not identify the affected users.
Former Twitter employees familiar with how the firm operates remarked that a considerable number of people could have acted similarly, more than 1,000 as of earlier this year. This also includes several contractors like Cognizant, the employees said. Companies that have a massive user base often have to outsource support staff, which opens it up to threats. Cybersecurity experts believe that the greater the number of people who can alter these settings, the stronger oversight there must be to prevent such happenings.
When asked the number of employees who had access to these internal tools before or since the hack, Twitter declined to comment. The firm was looking for a new security head, working to secure its platform and training its workers on how to be wary of social engineering attacks. Cognizant did not comment on the matter either.