U.S. regulator: Twitter’s lax security enabled ‘simple’ celebrity account hack by Florida teen

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(Reuters) — Twitter suffered from cybersecurity shortfalls that enabled a “easy” hack attributed to a Florida teenager to take over the accounts of a number of of the world’s most well-known individuals in July, in keeping with a report launched on Wednesday.

The report by New York’s Division of Monetary Providers really helpful that the biggest social media firms be deemed systemically vital, like some banks following the 2008 monetary disaster, with a devoted regulator monitoring their potential to fight cyberattacks and election interference.

“That Twitter was weak to an unsophisticated assault reveals that self-regulation isn’t the reply,” stated Linda Lacewell, the monetary companies superintendent.

Twitter stated it cooperated with the evaluate and was growing safety for its groups and platform. The corporate has acknowledged that some workers had been duped into sharing account credentials previous to the hack.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo stated the report demonstrated a “regulatory hole” and pledged the state would take the lead in introducing measures to guard customers.

Cuomo had ordered a probe following the July 15 hack of movie star Twitter accounts in a rip-off that allegedly stole greater than $118,000 in Bitcoin.

People whose accounts had been hacked included U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden; former President Barack Obama; billionaires Jeff Bezos, Invoice Gates, and Elon Musk; singer Kanye West; and actuality TV star Kim Kardashian.

Lacewell stated hackers obtained login credentials after calling a number of workers and pretending to work in Twitter’s info know-how division. Hackers claimed to be responding to issues with the corporate’s Digital Non-public Community, a scenario that had turn out to be frequent as a result of workers had been working from house.

“The extraordinary entry the hackers obtained with this straightforward method underscores Twitter’s cybersecurity vulnerability and the potential for devastating penalties,” the report stated.

Twitter’s lack on the time of a chief info safety officer additionally made the San Francisco-based firm extra weak, the report stated.

Florida prosecutors stated Graham Ivan Clark was the mastermind behind the hack and charged the 17-year-old Tampa resident as an grownup with 30 felonies.

Clark has pleaded not responsible. Federal prosecutors charged two others with aiding the hack.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York, further reporting by Katie Paul in Palo Alto. Enhancing by Andrea Ricci and Tom Brown.)


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