Feeds

Red peril paranoia hits Twitter

Allegations fly of state-sponsored hack to silence dissent during Party Congress

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

China watchers put two and two together and made five yesterday after pointing fingers at Chinese state-sponsored hackers whom they suspected of trying to break into their Twitter accounts.

Several high profile Tweeters from academia, media and elsewhere began suspecting foul play after having their passwords reset and receiving an email with the following message:

Twitter believes that your account may have been compromised by a website or service not associated with Twitter.

Noting that fellow “China watchers” had reported similar, several began to suspect the hand of the Chinese authorities.

Some of the accounts compromised included those of Hong Kong university’s China Media Project – an account monitoring censorship in the PRC – and WSJ reported Mei Fong.

“Wow, my Twitter account just got hacked. Party Congresses are such fun,” wrote another – Tsinghua University professor Patrick Chovanec.

Paranoia is high at the moment, especially for those tweeting from within the Great Firewall, because the Communist Party is currently holding its 18th National Congress – a glorified PR event at the end of which this year the Party will unveil its new leadership team for the next decade.

Such politically sensitive events are stage managed down to the last detail and usually come with an internet health warning as online censors step up their propaganda drive.

In the run up to this year’s Congress there have been outages of major foreign web sites, service interruptions and even an increase in blockages reported by VPN companies, the Wall Street Journal said.

Virtual Private Networks are the main route by which information-hungry China dwellers can bypass the Great Firewall and reach usually restricted content.

Although it is not known who the culprit of yesterday’s mass hack attempt was, it later emerged that the attack did not solely affect China watchers.

A Twitter balls-up actually turned it into a more widespread problem than it needed to be in the end after also resetting some accounts that hadn’t been compromised. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Shellshock over SMTP attacks mean you can now ignore your email
'But boss, the Internet Storm Centre says it's dangerous for me to reply to you'
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.