How a web based assault introduced Twitter to its knees

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Producer / director John Pappas
reporter Kate Conger and Nathaniel Popper

It seemed like an inside job.

Some of the most famous and powerful people in the world have been hacked on Twitter.

Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian and Joe Biden's accounts have been compromised and taken over by unknown scammers who wanted to fill their digital pockets with Bitcoin.

The jaw-dropping attack in July resulted in Twitter being banned, alerting cybersecurity experts who feared the worst.

"This is too nifty to be just a bitcoin scam," said Nathaniel Popper, a finance and technology reporter for the New York Times. "All this personal information about the most important cultural, business and political figures has been permeated."

Who was behind this bold breach of one of the most visible platforms on the Internet and how did they do it?

In a new New York Times documentary about FX and Hulu, Popper and Kate Conger, a technology reporter for the Times, find some of the hackers who participated in the online program.

Interviews with these anonymous online outlaws reveal that the attack was not the work of a fraudulent Twitter agent, hostile government, or nefarious intelligence agency. The hack was hatched by a Florida teenager who apparently first developed an online game book to tear people down while immersing himself in the game of Minecraft.

Watch our new documentary as this disaffected teen who grew up on video games and social media and a group of young people he had never met in real life are accused of bringing Twitter to their knees.

Observe on Friday November 20th at 10pm. on FX and streaming on Hulu.

Editor-in-chief Liz Day
Directors of photography Jarred Alterman and Andreas Burgess
Video editors Pierre Takal and Nathan Punwar
Associate producer Salwa Shameem

"The New York Times Presents" is a series of documentaries depicting the unparalleled journalism and insight of the New York Times, bringing viewers to the essential stories of our time.