The Company has notified their users that governments might hack Twitter accounts.
Twitter sent personal messages to users that might have been targeted by the attack, announcing them of this possibility. According to the notification, the hackers targeting the accounts were ‘state-sponsored actors’.
The social network hasn’t given much detail regarding the targets of the attacks but they believe that the hackers were trying to obtain private information, such as IP addresses, email addresses or phone numbers. Among the users who had received warning messages there were researchers, programmers and journalists.
The Company is currently investigating the incident, trying to find out more about who conducted the attack and what they were looking for exactly.
At the end of their warning message, Twitter provides information about online protection of identity for people who chose to tweet using pseudonyms. One of the links they offer is to ‘Tor Project’, free software which offers protection from internet surveillance through a volunteer network which hides the user’s location and other personal information.
In the past years China and The United States accused each other of advanced online espionage. Even if no public blaming has been made officially, the U.S. believes that China is responsible for hacking their servers and stealing fingerprints of more than 5.6 million federal employees.
As a ‘preventive’ measure, the United States have pulled their staff from the Beijing embassy, fearing that the stolen data might have compromised its intelligence workers.
Last year, Sony Entertainment has been the victim of an online attack which has stolen confidential information from the company. Even if initially nobody knew who did that and everybody believed it was commercial espionage led by the company’s competition, the attack has finally been traced by the FBI back to the government of North Korea.
According to business insider, there other important hacks of this year have targeted Android devices, Mac and Dell computers, online dating services and websites of the United States government.
Up to this moment, Google and Facebook were the only two companies that issued warnings to their users regarding government-commanded attacks.
In October this year, Facebook took the pledge to announce all its users who might be targeted by government hacks through a message that would urge them to secure their accounts. The targeted users will be advised to secure all of their other accounts and not only the one that was targeted.
Facebook did not reveal how it distinguishes the government hacks from the ones coming from other hackers.
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