Regulator says Twitter’s security fell short before hack targeting celebrities

Twitter

Twitter Inc endured from cybersecurity shortfalls that allowed a “simple” hack credited to a Florida teenager to shoot over the accounts of many of the world’s most renowned people in July, according to a new report.

The report from New York’s Department of Financial Services also advised that the biggest social media firms be deemed systemically important, like some banks following the 2008 financial meltdown, using a dedicated regulator tracking their ability to fight cyberattacks and election hindrance.

“That Twitter was vulnerable to an unsophisticated attack shows that self-regulation is not the answer,” explained Linda Lacewell, the financial services superintendent.

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It’s acknowledged that some employees were duped into sharing accounts credentials ahead of the hack.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered a probe following the July 15 hack celebrity Twitter accounts, in an alleged scam that stole more than $118,000 in Bitcoin.

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Those whose accounts had been murdered comprised US presidential candidate Joe Biden; former President Barack Obama; billionaires Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Elon Musk; singer Kanye West, along with his wife Kim Kardashian.

Lacewell said hackers got log-in credentials after calling several employees, pretending to work in Twitter’s information technology division, and claiming to be reacting to issues with the organization’s Virtual Private Network, which was common because workers were working from home.

“The extraordinary access the hackers obtained with this simple technique underscores Twitter’s cybersecurity vulnerability and the potential for devastating consequences,” the report stated.

Twitter’s lack at the time of a chief information security officer also made the San Francisco-based business more vulnerable, the report stated.

Florida prosecutors said Graham Ivan Clark was the mastermind behind the hack, and charged the 17-year-old Tampa resident as an adult with 30 felonies.

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Clark has pleaded not guilty. Federal prosecutors charged two others with aiding the hack.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York. Editing by Andrea Ricci.

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