Popular social media networking site, Twitter, on Monday suffered a loss in shares after a security firm affirmed that the platform was hacked to enable the hackers steal users’ information.
Prior to this episode, the platform had experienced an unusual traffic, causing an emergency investigation suggesting that the occurrence may be resulting from “state-sponsored” hackers. Twitter claims that while investigating a security bug that leaked data and users’ country codes, it also uncovered a malicious traffic to a customer-support forum. Accordingly, the traffic notably came from an IP address in China and Saudi Arabia.
China, the prime suspect in this denies any ties with the internet hackers and promises to cooperate in cracking down such malicious behaviour.
Twitter said in the blog post:
“While we cannot confirm intent or attribution for certain, it is possible that some of these IP addresses may have ties to state-sponsored actor… We continue to err on the side of full transparency in this area and have updated law enforcement on our findings”.
China is popular for enforcing stringent rules relating to internet use in the country. In retrospect, the country’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying in Beijing, today, says their position on security remains unwavering.
Similar to the Facebook scandal relating to the misuse of user data, Michael Pachter, Wedbush analyst, expressed his concern about how such a negative news could influence the company’s integrity record, and affect user engagement. After a similar occurrence with Facebook, Elon Musk and a host of other influential figures threatened to pull down their pages and accounts. Even though the saga ended in Facebook’s favour, the platform suffered a stain. However, this may not be the case with any other social media networking site.
“Clearly, a breech like this impairs user trust in the platform”, Pachter said.
Micro Trend, security software maker stated that the hackers had earlier tweeted twice in October. In their tweets, they hid the instructions in memes that automated the bug by secretly stealing user names and other information.
At the moment, the twitter spokesman is yet to respond. The bug was fixed in November 16; however, this remains a major concern as this saga may cause users to question the security of the platform.