Microblogging website Twitter has alerted several Twitter users by informing them regarding state-sponsored hackers may have tried to obtain sensitive data from their accounts. This is the first time that the social media company has issued such a warning.
According to Twitter users who have received the emails, the microblogging site sent emails to an unknown number of users warning that hackers might be trying to obtain contact numbers, IP addresses and email addresses. The notice said there was no indication the hackers obtained recipients' personal information from what it said were a small group of accounts targeted.
It did not provide any further information about the possible suspects or attacks in its investigation, according to reports. The company continues to investigate the issue.
Twitter’s notice is the latest to come amid state-sponsored organisations’ concern about cyber attacks. Government agencies, media, and businesses have all been hacked. According to reports, Facebook and Google have issued similar security warnings to users in the past, possibly targeted by state-sponsored attacks.
Several headline-making hacks in recent years have included the United States, and China or North Korea. Both have accused each other of high-tech snooping of governments and companies.
The federal department found out about those attacks because of the alert system, according to a story in New York Times. Social media has become a huge battleground for online hackers and security researchers.
These attacks are a matter of concern because access to social media accounts can be lucrative for determined hackers. Hacking just one account could grant them access to dozens of others and open up lines of communication between individuals in a network or particular field.
Twitter users have been advised to take proper precautions to safeguard their personal information, offering suggestions like using Tor to users who are worried that their personal information is hacked.
Tor is free software that allows for anonymous communication on the Internet and directs internet traffic via a worldwide- free volunteered network to hide a user’s location and usage from anyone conducting network surveillance or traffic analysis.
A Canadian, non-profit organization, has also received a warning from Twitter. Others who tweeted about receiving the notice included security researchers and journalists.
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