Twitter’s security fell short before hack targeting celebrities, regulator says

In this news, we discuss the Twitter’s security fell short before hack targeting celebrities, regulator says.

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Twitter Inc suffered from cybersecurity loopholes that allowed a “simple” hack attributed to a Florida teenager to take over the accounts of several of the world’s most famous people in July, according to a report released Wednesday.

The New York Department of Financial Services report also recommended that the largest social media companies be considered systemically important, such as some banks after the 2008 financial crisis, with a dedicated regulator monitoring their ability to fight cyberattacks. and electoral interference.

“This Twitter was vulnerable to an unsophisticated attack shows that self-regulation is not the solution, ”said Linda Lacewell, Superintendent of Financial Services.

Twitter admitted that some employees were tricked into sharing account credentials prior to the hack.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered investigation into celebrity hack on July 15 Twitter accounts, in an alleged scam that stole more than $ 118,000 in Bitcoin.

Among those whose accounts were hacked were US presidential candidate Joe Biden; former President Barack Obama; billionaires Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Elon Musk; singer Kanye West and his wife Kim Kardashian, the reality TV star.

Lacewell said the hackers obtained login credentials after calling multiple employees, claiming to work Twitter at the company’s IT department and claiming to respond to issues with the company’s virtual private network, which had become common because the employees were working. home.

“The extraordinary access that hackers have gained with this simple technique underscores the vulnerability of cybersecurity and the potential for devastating consequences,” the report said.

Twitter’s lack of an information security official at the time also made the San Francisco-based company more vulnerable, according to the report.

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

Clark has pleaded not guilty. Federal prosecutors have charged two other people with aiding in the hack.

Report by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Andrea Ricci

Original © Thomson Reuters Corporation

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