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Hackers Take Control of Jack Dorsey's Twitter Account

Attack raises fears about security of president's account
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2019 8:02 AM CDT
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey arrives at the Elysee Palace to meet French President Emmanuel Macron in June in Paris.   (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

(Newser) – The series of offensive tweets coming from Jack Dorsey on Friday afternoon weren't, of course, from Jack Dorsey. A group of hackers had taken over the Twitter account of the company's co-founder and chief executive, the Guardian reports. The attack lasted no more than 30 minutes, Twitter said, but in that time, tweets were posted that included racial slurs, anti-Semitic comments and a hint that a bomb was at Twitter's headquarters; the company later said there was no bomb. Twitter also said later that only Dorsey's account was hijacked. A link was posted to Discord, a site where the hijackers seemed to be joking about the attack. That channel was taken down quickly, per the BBC. Hackers who call themselves the Chuckling Squad said they were responsible.

The hackers were able to post by transferring the phone number connected to Dorsey's account to a new SIM card. This method, called SIM swapping, often requires bribing or tricking an customer support employee for a cellphone carrier. Hackers could then post their tweets by texting. In Business Insider, Alexei Oreskovic sees the attack as "something terrifying." The company won't say what steps it's taken to keep President Trump's Twitter account safe, but it's not difficult to imagine the chaos that could be caused by a takeover. More than 90 minutes elapsed between the first false tweet attributed to Dorsey on Friday and the announcement that Twitter had secured his account. This could be a warning, Oreskovic writes, that Twitter can't protect the president's account. (Read more cyberattack stories.)

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