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Experts: Twitter security breach undermines trust ahead of election

The FBI said Thursday it is investigating the hacks and said the high-profile accounts “appear to have been compromised in order to perpetuate cryptocurrency fraud.”

News 12 Staff

Jul 16, 2020, 9:34 PM

Updated 1,405 days ago

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A breach in Twitter’s security that allowed hackers to break into the accounts of leaders and technology moguls is one of the worst attacks in recent years and may shake trust in a platform politicians and CEOs use to communicate with the public, experts said Thursday.
The FBI said Thursday it is investigating the hacks and said the high-profile accounts “appear to have been compromised in order to perpetuate cryptocurrency fraud.”
The ruse discovered Wednesday included bogus tweets from Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg and a number of tech billionaires including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Celebrities Kanye West and his wife, Kim Kardashian West, were also hacked.
Hackers used social engineering to target some of Twitter’s employees and then gained access to the accounts. The attackers sent out tweets from the accounts of the public figures, offering to send $2,000 for every $1,000 sent to an anonymous Bitcoin address.
Dr. Jonathan Hill, Pace University's dean of the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, says the incident is unearthing a vulnerability.
"So many people use Twitter as a trusted news source and Twitter is not that,” he says. “It’s a platform for everybody and anybody to broadcast their message."
He says Twitter users should be verifying information, even if it comes from a verified account.
"I think everybody needs to learn some basic journalistic practice and we need to be very, very careful as individuals and as a society about what we read and what we believe," said Dr. Hill.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the hack was deeply troubling ahead of a presidential election and ordered an investigation into the incident:
"Foreign interference remains a grave threat to our democracy and New York will continue to lead the fight to protect our democracy and the integrity of our elections in any way we can."
AP Wire Services were used in this report.


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