Twitter was reportedly warned about hacking issues long ago

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The recent hack of Twitter for a Bitcoin scam was massive, but the social media site was warned about security issues years before, per reports.

Twitter did move quickly to handle the hack, which impacted the accounts of many high-profile people and companies. Some of the accounts impacted included Apple, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates.

Twitter had prior warnings

While the quick action taken by the social media giant warrants praise, reports have come out that say Twitter had been warned about security issues for several years. It seems that such warnings fell on deaf ears.

It appears that a large number of employees and third-party contractors have the ability to access user accounts. Former employees told Bloomberg that the company has 1,500 such individuals working in that capacity. Overall, those 1,500 employees oversee the site’s 186 million daily users.

The former employees say that warnings about the increasing number of people who have access to user data were given to Jack Dorsey and the board of directors from 2015 through 2019. However, the ex-employees say that such warnings were ignored in favor of Twitter focusing on increasing its revenue.

Paul Ortiz, a supply chain security consultant, told Bloomberg, “Very few companies understand how vulnerable their operations are to compromise as they expand outside of their headquarters. This risk exponentially increases if third-party contract workers are introduced into the equation.”

Catching up

Twitter has now required employees to take an online security training course. This course also covers a number of different phishing techniques, including phone calls.

Reports have it that the Twitter hack was the result of four people, including one Twitter employee. An excerpt of Twitter’s official statement reads:

“The attackers successfully manipulated a small number of employees and used their credentials to access Twitter’s internal systems, including getting through our two-factor protections. As of now, we know that they accessed tools only available to our internal support teams to target 130 Twitter accounts. For 45 of those accounts, the attackers were able to initiate a password reset, login to the account, and send Tweets.”

While the hack on the social media giant was short-lived, the criminals behind it managed to snag over US$120,000 [AUS$170,000] in Bitcoin. The results could have been far worse as a number of exchanges, such as Coinbase, moved quickly to block transfers to the scam’s Bitcoin wallet address.

Images courtesy of Stock Catalog/Flickr, Edar/Pixabay

Jeff Francis

Jeff has taken a roundabout way to becoming a cryptocurrency writer. He has always had a huge interest in history, which led to him receiving a degree in medieval history. He once thought of becoming a teacher but eventually joined some friends in opening a hobby shop. Jeff eventually took over sole proprietorship of the business and ran it for over 10 years. He then moved on to online selling and then into gaming journalism. He has spent the last 10 years writing professionally for various websites as well as creating content for many businesses. A few years back, he began hearing about Bitcoin and the rise of other cryptocurrencies. A proponent of allowing people to take economic power into their own hands, Jeff has enthusiastically supported cryptocurrencies, not to mention the many benefits of blockchain technology. This interest propelled him to becoming a writer for, and later editor of, several cryptocurrency-focused websites. Jeff is a lifelong geek and gamer. He tries to keep up with the slew of TV shows and movies that fall into the fantasy/sci-fi/superhero genres, and he still plays pen-and-paper role-playing games on the weekends. He lives in Florida, USA, as he cannot stand cold weather.

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