Twitter has revealed that hackers “manipulated” some of its employees to access accounts in a high-profile attack on the social media company, including those of Democratic presidential challenger Joe Biden and tech entrepreneur Elon Musk. “We know that they accessed tools only available to our internal support teams to target 130 Twitter accounts,” said a statement posted on Saturday on the company’s blog. For 45 of those accounts, the hackers were able to reset passwords, login and send tweets, it added, while the personal data of up to eight unverified users was downloaded. Biden, Musk, Kim Kardashian: Twitter accounts hijacked in large-scale scam Posts trying to dupe people into sending hackers bitcoin were tweeted by the official accounts of Apple, Uber, Kanye West, Bill Gates, Barack Obama and many others on Wednesday. More than US$100,000 worth of the virtual currency was sent to email addresses mentioned in the tweets, according to Blockchain.com, which monitors cryptocurrency transactions. Twitter locked down affected accounts and removed the fraudulent tweets. It also locked accounts not affected by the hack as a precaution. Most of those have now been restored, Twitter said on Saturday. The New York Times on Friday reported the attack was carried out by a group of young friends with no links to a foreign state or organised crime. The paper said it interviewed four people who took part in the hacking, who shared logs and screenshots backing up their accounts of what happened. The young hackers said a mysterious user who went by the name “Kirk” initiated the scheme with a message and was the one with access to Twitter accounts. They added they were only involved in taking control of lesser-known but desirable Twitter accounts, such as an “@” sign and single letters or numbers that could easily be sold, according to the report. The hackers maintained they stopped serving as middlemen for “Kirk” when high-profile users became targets. However, the hack has raised questions about Twitter’s security. Twitter said it is limiting the information it makes public about the attack while it carries out “remediation steps” to secure the site. Meanwhile, some US political figures, candidates and lawmakers locked out of their Twitter accounts after the hack started to return to the social media site on Friday. “Guess who’s back?” US President Donald Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jnr, tweeted on Friday. Fox News reported he had been unable to access his account following the incident. Guess who’s back? pic.twitter.com/1HhS0C5q5A — Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) July 17, 2020 “After 36 hours, @Twitter has finally given back access to my account,” tweeted Democratic Senate candidate Barbara Bollier. At least seven of about 10 Democratic Senate candidates and senators who had been locked out of their accounts were able to access the platform on Friday, according to a party official. Both Republicans and Democrats have called for Twitter to better explain the security lapse, as lawmakers expressed concerns over what would happen if a similar breach occurred a day before the US presidential election in November. The FBI’s San Francisco division is leading an inquiry into the hacking. Would Trump abandon Twitter? Twitter said on Thursday that it had locked any accounts that attempted to change the account’s password during the past 30 days, but said the locked accounts had not necessarily been compromised. Trump’s account, which has 83.5 million followers, was not targeted. “The president will remain on Twitter,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said. “His account was secure and not jeopardised during these attacks.” She said that the White House had been in constant contact with the company to keep Trump’s Twitter feed secure.