The modern era is very dependent on various online platforms to function efficiently. These platforms are essential to connect employees together to keep the economy going, especially in this time of an ongoing pandemic. This situation also opens up opportunities for cybercriminals and hackers to steal or misuse other users’ data or information. Leakage of data, also known as data breach, is therefore a primary concern for industries and firms worldwide. For developers all over the world, verifying the data security steps is crucial before they can implement their software or websites to the world.
Twitter is one of the most popularly used social media sites in the world. Allowing celebrities or companies of all categories to interact with the general public directly is its primary purpose. This makes security an extremely important part of Twitter, as a breach or leak of data can lead to misinformation, manipulation or misdirection.
On July 15, 2020, however, this is exactly what happened. About 130 celebrity twitter accounts were compromised by third parties in order to give more traction to a cryptocurrency scam. This led to the celebrity twitter accounts asking individuals to send their bitcoin to specific destinations with the supposed incentive being that the money they sent would be doubled. This attack was described as being the worst hack of a social media platform to date, and the FBI had gotten involved. Security researchers expressed concern that the methods used to engineer an attack of this manner can affect the use of social media in many online discussions.
The aftermath of this attack led to various events:
- Twitter’s stock fell by 4% after the markets closed.
- More than $110, 000 had been deposited in one account through this scam before these messages were removed by Twitter’s authority.
- It was brought to the public eye that direct messages on twitter were not encrypted, showing further how bad the situation of security of twitter was.
- It raised severe concern for all other social media platforms as these attacks infected accounts with huge following.
Here is a list of the measurements Twitter took to prevent this from happening in the future:
- They delayed their change of their Application Programming Interface, or API.
- Twitter started in September that they had installed new protocols to stop attacks that are of similar designs.
- They updated their policy to being that none of their employees would be allowed to have access to data or tools that falls outside their scope in their jobs.
With all that said, it seems that implementation of Artificial Intelligence may reduce risk of events of this kind as prediction may prove to be very useful in this regard too. User behavior can be tracked for each account and suspicious activity would be banned automatically even more efficiently. It would also help if messages on Twitter were made encrypted so that end-to-end users would be able to pass data from one person to another directly without worry of Data breaches in the middle.
This was one of the many events in 2020 that showed how impactful a single data breach or attack can be. The consequences have been so significant that social media management teams have taken great notice and are working towards making more secure platforms. To ensure secure platforms would lead to better engagement and reviews from users and thus increasing the overall customer satisfaction. The people behind breaches and attacks of this sort must be tracked down and apprehended legally to set an example for the future and so that data breaches and leaks are taken more seriously when particular people are to blame.