Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) apologized following a recent hack targeting accounts of prominent politicians, celebrities and business personalities. Among those affected include Joe Biden, Barack Obama, and Elon Musk. The CEO used the company’s earnings call to quell security concerns on the social network.
Hackers sent out fake bitcoin ads
“We fell behind both in our protection duties and restrictions on our internal tools, and for that I apologize,” Dorsey said on a call with Wall Street analysts. The social media giant announced that 130 accounts were affected. The hackers sent out adverts involving fake bitcoin deals to 45 of the accounts. Twitter admitted that they were able to access private messages of 36 of the accounts, including politicians in the Netherlands.
To regain the affected accounts, Twitter deleted the tweets as they came in, shut off tweets from verified accounts, and locked accounts that tried to change passwords.
Nether Dorsey nor the company’s CFO, Ned Segal, offered any additional details of the hack, which happened just two weeks after the end of the quarter. It is the first reporting since the global economy was thrown into turmoil by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Twitter’s ads revenue dropped due to the pandemic
During Twitter’s second-quarter earnings call, Dorsey announced that the company reported a drop in advertising revenue, but Twitter users increased during the same period. The social media company reported $683 million in revenue, a drop from the $707.5 million during the same period last year. Currently, Twitter has 186 million daily users representing a 34% jump from the second quarter last year. The company attributed the drop in revenue to a decrease in advertising due to the pandemic.
Advertising, which accounts for the largest share of Twitter’s revenue, brought in $562 million during the quarter. This represents a 23% drop from Q2 2019. The company saw a slight increase in ad spending during the last three weeks of the quarter. In addition to the pandemic’s effects, a drop in ad revenue was due to widespread protests post George Floyd’s death.
Dorsey said they are cooperating with law enforcement agencies to investigate the matter. Already the FBI has taken up investigations into the breach.