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Twitter hacking probe leads to demand for cybersecurity rules for social media giants – TechCrunch




This summer’s Twitter hacking investigation by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS) ended with bitter criticism of how easily Twitter was fooled by “simple” social engineering techniques. A security-regulated media platform.

In the report, as a contrasting example, the NYSDFS points out how quickly regulated cryptocurrency companies acted to prevent Twitter hackers from fooling more people. This shows that innovation and regulation are not mutually exclusive.

The point is that the largest social media platforms have enormous social power (with all the consumer risks involved), but they do not have a regulated responsibility to protect their users.

The report concludes that this is a problem that U.S. legislators need to overcome—to establish a surveillance council (to “designate systemically important social media companies”) and secure security. Recommend “appropriate” regulators appointed to “monitor and supervise” Practice of mainstream social media platforms.

“Social media companies have evolved into an integral means of communication. More than half of Americans use social media to get news and connect with colleagues, family and friends. This evolution makes social media important. We need a regulatory system that reflects our infrastructure, “writes NYSDFS, but” a dedicated state or federation empowered to ensure proper cybersecurity practices to prevent fraud, fake information, and more. There are no regulators yet. A systematic threat to social media giants. “

“Twitter hacks show, above all, the risks to society if system-critical institutions are forced to regulate themselves,” he added. “Protecting systemically important social media from misuse is very important to all of us, including consumers, voters, governments, and the industry. It’s time for government action.”

I contacted Twitter for comment on the report

One of the key findings from the department’s research was that a hacker broke into Twitter’s system by calling an employee and claiming to be from Twitter’s IT department. This allowed the four employees to be tricked into passing login credentials. From there, they can access Twitter accounts of well-known politicians, celebrities, and entrepreneurs, including Barack Obama, Kim Kardashian West, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and many crypto companies. Was-Tweet crypto using a hijacked account A scam to millions of users.

Twitter has previously confirmed that a “phone spear phishing” attack was used to obtain credentials.

According to the report, the hacker’s “double Bitcoin” scam message included a link to pay with Bitcoin, which could steal more than $ 118,000 of Bitcoin from Twitter users. It was.

Although regulated crypto companies (Coinbase, Square, Gemini Trust Company, Bitstamp) have taken swift action to prevent a significant amount of money from being stolen, the ministry has blocked numerous transfer attempts by fraudsters. Said.

“This swift action has blocked more than 6,000 attempts to transfer hackers to Bitcoin addresses, worth about $ 1.5 million,” the report said.

Twitter is also referred to as having no cybersecurity chief in the post at the time of the hack. After failing to replace Mike Convertino, who left to join cyber resilience company Arceo in December 2019.

Last month, we announced that Rinki Sethi was adopted as the CISO.

“Despite being a global social media platform with an average monthly user base of over 330 million in 2019, Twitter did not have adequate cybersecurity protection,” wrote NYSDFS. “At the time of the attack, Twitter did not have a chief information security officer, proper access control and identity management, and proper security monitoring. This is the key required by the country’s first cybersecurity regulations. This is part of the countermeasure. “

European Union data protection legislation already incorporates security requirements as part of a comprehensive privacy and security framework (security breaches can result in significant penalties). However, an Irish DPC investigation into the 2018 Twitter security incident has yet to come to a conclusion as the draft decision failed to gain the support of other EU data watchdogs in August this year. This further delays the EU-wide regulatory process.

This story has been fixed and updated. Twitter was unable to replace Mike Convertino as the CISO. Michael Coates was also posted, but as I mentioned at the beginning, I left Twitter in March 2019 instead of March 2020.

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