Twitter warns users of state-sponsored hacking

Canadian privacy group gets warning

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Twitter has sent warning messages to a small number of users it suspects have come under attack from state-sponsored hackers.

Canadian non-profit Coldhak was one of the first to receive the notice from Twitter. The group, which specializes in improving privacy online and includes staff from the Tor project, told The Register that this is the first such warning the organization has received.

Twitter confirmed to El Reg that it had sent out the warnings, but declined to comment further. It's not the first tech company to do so – Facebook said it would alert customers to nation-state attacks in October and Google has been doing so since 2012.

In Google's case, the firm was reacting to a series of attacks against Western firms, including the Chocolate factory, carried out at the turn of the decade. This caused a major falling out with the Chinese government, whom Eric Schmidt blamed for the raids.

That state-sponsored actors are surveilling its citizens comes as no surprise. As we've seen with The Hacking Team and Gamma, there are plenty of governments who want to use technology to spy on their citizens, and Western companies willing to help them – for a fee. ®


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