In the aftermath of the recent hack of several high-profile Twitter accounts, Twitter Inc has issued a formal apology to the users whose profiles were misused. The micro blogging site, in its direct message to the victims, apologized for the incident and suggested a series of action to ensure the safety of user accounts in future.
For the uninitiated, several verified Twitter accounts including those of Joe Biden, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Wiz Khalifa, Jeff Bezos, Mike Bloomberg and Apple were hacked by entities which remain unidentified. The hackers used these accounts to post a tweet, calling out the accounts’ followers to send bitcoins to a wallet with a promise to send back more double the amount.
However, investigation has brought forth the fact that as many as 1,000 Twitter employees and contractors had access to the tools and technologies that could be used to change user account settings and later hand over the account control to others.
In its statement, Twitter acknowledged that the perpetrators had lured some of its employees into liaison, in order to use their credentials to log into tools and gain access to 45 accounts, including those of high-profile people and organizations. According to the people formerly associated with Twitter Inc, too many people could have done it.
With the US Presidential Election campaigns going in full swing, Twitter has much to do within limited time, since such malicious activities on part of hackers could threaten the transparency in the elections. Account security must be enhanced by manifold, security experts suggest.
A cyber security investor and co-founder of network security firm Tenable, Ron Gula said that the most important question remains whether Twitter is doing enough to prevent account takeovers for US presidential candidates and news outlets when faced with sophisticated threats that leverage whole-of-nation approaches.
While access to accounts for national leaders was limited to a much smaller number of people two years ago when a rogue employee had deleted President Donald Trump’s account before it was restored quickly, the same can’t be said about candidates contesting the November 2020 election. What remains now is to see the extent to which twitter would strengthen security for user accounts.