High-Profile Twitter Hack Foreshadows Election Worries

Brazen and menacing:  The Wednesday hack on Twitter's high-profile accounts was a bitcoin money-making scam that could easily deceive many users who trust Twitter's account security.


Some of many targeted accounts in that coordinated hack attack included:

Barack Obama

Bill Gates

Elon Musk

Jeff Bezos

Joe Biden

Kanye West

Warren Buffet



Twitter Support


One of several breaches: Twitter’s history of security failures includes,

  1. 2015 ISIS messages tweeted from U.S. military account
  2. 2016 sale of 32 million passwords
  3. 2016 OurMine hack of Dorsey
  4. 2017 Deactivation of Trump's account
  5. 2018 Exploitation of Twitter's support forms
  6. 2019 CEO Dorsey's offensive tweets
  7. 2020 Hacking of NFL teams


Clear and imminent danger:  The scam of stealing bitcoin was of little consequence to the real and potential danger the hacking demonstrated.  This realization stunned everyday tweeters, particularly media, politicians and business leaders, that their chosen platform for real-time information is very much susceptible to being compromised. Worst things could be done with the info accessed from Twitter's very high-profile accounts. Twitter's security flaws draw greater fears over treacherous hackers' use of leaders' trusted accounts to spread lies about war, national emergencies or the election. More disturbing would be an irremediable attack on the day itself. The alarming episode is troubling both in its effect and in Twitter's inability to prevent it.


A timely forewarning: As government officials are gearing up in preparing election safeguards from intrusion and chaos, the Twitter cyber attack was an eye-opener to many other hazards political disinformation will cause.


Insider's job? As forensic investigation found out, the hack originated from at least one employee's account. It's still unclear if the employee was deceived or willingly handed over the login information. While the company is still figuring out the total extent of the damage, the fallout may continue depending on what other personal info was grabbed. And as the probe into its worst security nightmare continues, it revealed that hackers targeted just 130 accounts.  No other explanation was disclosed triggering speculations on the identity of the culprits and real target of the attack, considering the scale and timing of the undertaking.


Beware and be warned: With the election just a few months away, the hack attack was a loud forewarning of a potential threat to a democratic process.


A preview of things to come:  As the U.S. election is getting closer and the pandemic still gravely impeding campaign rallies, social media platforms with its millions of captive American audiences, are becoming very convenient for campaign ads and equally, if not even more tempting for disinformation. This raises an alarming issue of Twitter's vulnerability and questions its capability to prevent disinformation. Together with other internet companies, their ability and willingness to ensure that their platforms will protect the integrity of the election is now being scrutinized.