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Twitter beefs up security after hack led to bitcoin tweets

Twitter said Thursday that it has been adding security tools and ramping up training for its employees, after a hack in July demonstrated how vulnerable high-profile accounts could be.

The accounts of Barack Obama, Jeff Bezos, Joe Biden, Elon Musk and other high-profile people were among those used in the hack, in which their accounts asked users to transfer bitcoin in exchange for more in return. A Florida teenager and two others were later charged.

Twitter said in a blog post that it was rolling out new security keys that would be resistant to phishing attempts, in which hackers try to swipe employees’ computer login credentials.

“This is work we had already begun but have accelerated in recent weeks,” Parag Agrawal, chief technology officer, and Damien Kieran, data protection officer, wrote.

“This will help reduce the risk of an unauthorized third-party gaining access to our internal systems using compromised employee credentials,” they wrote.

Twitter said it had also introduced new training courses for cybersecurity and increased the frequency and availability of existing courses for all employees. “For example, we introduced two new mandatory training sessions for people who have access to nonpublic information,” Agrawal and Kieran wrote in the blog post.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has previously said that the hack involved failures by the company’s employees who were subject to manipulation by the hackers. The company “fell behind, both in our protections against social engineering of our employees and restrictions on our internal tools,” Dorsey said in July.

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday on whether the company had found intentional wrongdoing among its employees.

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