Twitter begins warning users of attacks from state-sponsored hackers

December 14, 2015

Andrew Blake

Twitter has begun notifying account holders who the company believes are being targeted by state-sponsored hackers, following in the footsteps of Google and Facebook as government-hired cyber spies continue to set their sights on social media.

At least a dozen Twitter users received warnings from the company on Friday informing them of suspicious activity linked to their accounts.

“As a precaution, we are alerting you that your Twitter account is one of a small group of accounts that may have been targeted by state-sponsored actors. We believe that these actors (possibly associated with a government) may have been trying to obtain information such as email addresses, IP addresses, and/or phone numbers,” the messages all began.

“At this time, we have no evidence they obtained your account information, but we’re actively investigating this matter. We wish we had more we could share, but we don’t have any additional information we can provide at this time,” the warnings continued.

Vice’s Motherboard identified 12 account holders who claimed to have received the warning, and noted that several of the affected users are either security researchers or affiliated in one way or another with the Tor Project.

The Tor Project, a U.S.-based nonprofit, oversees Tor, a specialized Web browser that enables individuals to browse the Internet anonymously to evade eavesdroppers and online restrictions.

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