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U.S. senator seeks answers from Jack Dorsey on Twitter account compromises

Michael McSweeney
·2 min read

U.S. Senator Josh Hawley sent a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey last night in what appears to be the first political response to Wednesday's Twitter account attack.

The letter, publicly shared by Hawley's office, makes note that "Twitter seems to be experiencing a large-scale cyberattack, as illustrated by a number of posts inviting users to transfer Bitcoin under fraudulent pretenses. The accounts targeted include those for Apple, Uber, Jeff Bezos, former President Barack Obama, and even the Democratic nominee for President."

Hawley's letter went on to note:

"I am concerned that this event may represent not merely a coordinated set of separate hacking incidents but rather a successful attack on the security of Twitter itself. As you know, millions of your users rely on your service not just to tweet publicly but also to communicate privately through your direct message service. A successful attack on your system's servers represents a threat to all of your user' privacy and data security."

Last night, Twitter support staff explained that the company "detected what we believe to be a coordinated social engineering attack by people who successfully targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools."

"We know they used this access to take control of many highly-visible (including verified) accounts and Tweet on their behalf. We're looking into what other malicious activity they may have conducted or information they may have accessed and will share more here as we have it," the staff continued.

Hawley's letter asked a series of questions including an explanation of the event and "[w]hat measures does Twitter undertake to prevent system-level hacks from breaching the security of its entire userbase?" among other queries. Hawley asked specifically if U.S. president Donald Trump's account security was at risk.


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