Analysts believe that the accounts of media outlets and members of the American government may have been targeted by last week’s massive Twitter hack.
HumanIPO reported on Sunday that 250,000 Twitter accounts have been hacked in the latest in a line of cyber attacks on major companies, but it seems that journalists and politicians may have been targeted.
According to PeerReach, affected accounts included those of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, with 17 percent of the 100 most influential accounts in US politics possibly affected.
70 percent of PeerReach’s Webtech top 100 list, including @TechCrunch, were among those targeted, with the analysis noting affected accounts were those of early adopters of Twitter. The New York Times, Reuters, CNN and Fox News were also targeted, among other news outlets.
Twitter’s information security director Bob Lord said the attack “was not the work of amateurs” and appeared similar to attacks on the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal in recent weeks.
“The attackers were extremely sophisticated, and we believe other companies and organisations have also been recently similarly attacked,” he said.
PeerReach warned that, despite Twitter resetting passwords to fight off this hack, it could still pose a threat to users.
“If the hackers have 250,000 encrypted passwords in their possession they have all time of the world to break these passwords. Although the compromised accounts are forced to change their passwords, many are likely to have re-used passwords for other applications such as email, domain names and other critical services. This gives the criminals great possibilities, in combination with Social Engineering, to continue their campaign against other media sources.”