Twitter Warns Users of Possible ‘State-Sponsored’ Hacking

LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

Twitter has contacted multiple users concerning “state-sponsored” cyber attacks, employing the tried and true tactic of yelling “Fire!” at the top of their lungs.

A vague, ominous looking letter has been sent to several Twitter users. It warns that “a small group of accounts” may have been the target of attacks by “state-sponsored actors.” There are precious few details available, other than a theory as to the general objective.

These attacks, “possibly associated with a government,” may or may not be attempting to acquire “email addresses, IP addresses, and/or phone numbers.” Twitter has “no evidence” that account information was actually obtained, but are “actively investigating” the matter.

The alert in question also offers tips on protecting your identity online, but otherwise seems to be utterly useless. Without indication of the origin, purpose, timing of the attacks, it is essentially the Twitter equivalent of a threat level color system.

The people affected seem to be surveillance, security, and privacy-specific individuals and organizations. While it’s unclear whether these individuals would benefit from links to the Tor Project or an article entitled “Protecting Yourself on Social Networks,” it appears that Twitter has decided it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Or rather, better-somewhat-aware-of-a-nonspecific-threat-of-unknown-origin-that-may-or-may-not-exist than sorry. If a threat is identified, a tactic is employed, or really anyone knows anything about the purpose of this extraordinarily blurry advisory, we’ll keep you updated.

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