The recent Twitter hack has many internet users questioning their technological privacy. Lasting more than two hours, the incident gained widespread attention and resulted in involvement from the FBI and members of Congress, as well as three arrests.
The hackers who carried out the scam hacked the Twitter pages of prominent public
figures and celebrities, including Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Jeff Bezos, and more. The
Twitter hackers used these high profile accounts to spread a Bitcoin scam, while also
selling Twitter usernames to steal massive amounts of money.
Upon further investigation, Twitter stated that the hackers were able to manipulate
employees into revealing confidential information using social engineering, the act of
using psychological manipulation to trick online users into handing over data. When
using this tactic, attackers often implement a human element, such as a sense of fear,
to pressure victims into revealing sensitive information. In this case, the Twitter hackers
relied on spear phishing to attain valuable information from Twitter employees. The
fraudsters targeted employees by posing as a colleague and convincing them to give up
the credentials needed to access Twitter accounts.
Although this news has only recently reminded everyone about the importance of online
security, unethical hackers have always been and will continue to roam the internet. In fact,
after activities such as office work shifted to the online world, the FBI has reported a
300% increase in cybercrimes. These crimes include using keyloggers, malware
infections, SQL injection attacks, and implementing social engineering to disrupt internet activity. Of the various ways hackers steal private information, these strategies have one thing in common: attackers are exploiting vulnerabilities, whether in user’s operating systems or their emotions to steal data to commit further crimes for their own gains.
With unethical hacking and internet scams on the rise, users should remain cautious of
their actions on the internet. Online users are recommended to stay away from
unsolicited messages, offers, phone calls, or attachments. Because most hackers are
known to utilize fake websites and emails, it is important to pay close attention to any
given links to differentiate between a fraud and legit URL. In addition to investigating
requests for private information, individual users can also consider implementing
methods that businesses utilize to protect their data.
Aside from training their employees to beware of cybersecurity threats, organizations
use a variety of techniques to defend devices from malicious attacks, such as installing
anti-malware or antivirus programs, using virtual private networks, encrypting data,
choosing suitable internet packages, such as packages with built-in security features,
and keeping devices updated. Similarly, individual online users should consider using a
virtual private network for encryption, using a separate firewall to limit outside network
access to a computer, installing an anti-virus protection program, or updating their
Even though these strategies are effective, they are only extra precautions. The best
way for online users to ensure confidentiality is to be mindful of what they download.
Staying away from insecure websites, unfamiliar emails, and unsafe URLs, creating
complicated passwords for different accounts, and learning to discern between
suspicious and legitimate information are all powerful ways to combat cyber attacks. Stay
safe on the internet and think before you click!