Twitter didn’t identify the politician, but reports indicate it was the Dutch Party of Freedom leader Geert Wilders. The company didn’t address which other accounts may have had their inboxes accessed. The hack ensnared a number of high-profile users, including Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Kanye West. The update does suggest that Barack Obama and Joe Biden’s messages were not caught up in the hack, a scenario that has lead to much speculation about how much worse the attack could have been.
We believe that for up to 36 of the 130 targeted accounts, the attackers accessed the DM inbox, including 1 elected official in the Netherlands. To date, we have no indication that any other former or current elected official had their DMs accessed.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 22, 2020
Still, the fact that hackers were able to access the accounts of a former president and current presidential candidate has caused major concern among lawmakers, who have demanded investigations into the company and how the hacks were carried out. The FBI has also confirmed it’s conducting an investigation.
Twitter previously blamed the hack on a “social engineering attack,” but hasn’t directly commented on speculation that one or more of its employees may have been complicit in the hack. The company also revealed that hackers were able to export extensive account data for eight users, but said none of them were verified.