New York is launching a “full investigation” into the massive Twitter hack that targeted big names including Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.
The probe will be run through the state’s Department of Financial Services.
“Foreign interference remains a grave threat to our democracy and New York will continue to lead the fight to protect our democracy and the integrity of our elections in any way we can,” Cuomo said.
On Wednesday, several high-profile Twitter accounts were taken over by anonymous hackers as part of a bitcoin scam.
Gates’ account, for example, tweeted, “Everyone is asking me to give back, and now is the time. I am doubling all payments sent to my BTC address for the next 30 minutes.”
At least one of the bitcoin wallets linked to the scam raked in about 12.8 bitcoin worth over $117,328 at the current exchange rate.
Cuomo called the security breach “deeply troubling” ahead of the presidential election in November.
“With more than 300 million users, Twitter is a primary source of news for many, making it a target for bad actors,” the governor said. “This type of hack by con artists for financial gain can also be a tool of foreign actors and others to spread disinformation and – as we’ve witnessed – disrupt our elections.”
The hackers allegedly paid a Twitter employee to help them carry out the cyber attack, sources told Vice News’ Motherboard.
That gave them access to an admin tool at Twitter, allowing them to change the email address associated with the accounts.
Twitter accounts for public figures like Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, former President Barack Obama and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden were affected.