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Zombie Seizures: The Hacking of Twitter

Dr. Binoy Kampmark

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July 15, 2020.  It was a day that will be remembered in the history of social media giant, Twitter.

In what is becoming an increasingly quotidian occurrence with such companies, Twitter faced a hack described as “catastrophic”.  The company’s own language was milder: that day, “we detected a security incident at Twitter and took immediate action.”  As of July 18, the company believed that the “attackers targeted certain Twitter employees through a social engineering scheme.”  For the untainted, an explanation is offered.  “In this context, social engineering is the intentional manipulation of people into performing certain actions and divulging confidential information.”  Sounds awfully like Twitter itself. 

This internal “social engineering” endeavour enabled the attackers in question to manipulate “a small number of employees and used their credentials to access Twitter’s internal systems, including getting through our two-factor protections.”  As of that time, 130 Twitter accounts had been accessed and, of them, 45 had their passwords reset. Of these quarried accounts, eight involved the “additional step of downloading the account’s information through our ‘Twitter.....