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Twitter Alerts Its Users about - State Sponsored Actors

Twitter recently cautioned a group of its users whom they assumed to be hacked by some state sponsored hackers. The Guardian published news on 14th December, 2015, stating that the social media team contacted around 30 users via email alerting them that hackers may be trying to extract their personal credentials, contact numbers, email addresses and other sensitive information through their twitter account.

Some users among the recipients of the warning shared the warning publicly like Winnipeg-based information security nonprofit coldhak; Austrian communications consultant Marco Schreuder, Minnesotan encryption activist myriadmystic; Privacy and security researcher Runa Sandvik.

The North Koreans and Chinese governments are supposed to be responsible for some cyber hacking of western governments and organisations. BBC News published news stating that some IT experts claim that the hackers who breached computer network of Sony late last year and leaked enormous amounts of confidential information were backed by the North Korean state.

James Lewis, a cybersecurity expert of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC, said that attackers with government backing have far more resources at their disposal than hackers of criminal gang.

Google was the first company to have sent warnings through messages to its users about hacking way back in 2012. Facebook began sending warning from October 2015. Facebook became the first major social media platform to have introduced a "dark" version of its website, permitting users to conceal their whereabouts by logging in through the surveillance circumvention software TOR.

Twitter has sent out such warning to its users for the first time and it has invited criticism from those who received it. The company has advised its users to use the unidentified browser TOR to hide their identity. But many users of TOR have often charged them for blocking accounts which log in through these services assuming them as spammers.

Although none of the company explains that how they differentiate state sponsored hackers from the traditional attacker. The companies reason that they have to keep their methods undisclosed to always keep the hackers a step behind.

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