Twitter Warns Some Users of Possible Government Hacking

Coldhak, a Canadian non-profit, is among the Twitter users recently warned by the microblogging service that their accounts might be targeted for hacking by "state-sponsored actors." Coldhak on Friday posted a tweet with the text of the warning from Twitter.

The e-mail warning said hackers "possibly associated with a government" might be trying to gain information about Twitter users' e-mail addresses, IP addresses and/or phone numbers. This is the first time Twitter has sent out such a warning about state-sponsored security risks.

in October, Facebook also announced that it would begin alerting users whenever it has reason to believe their accounts have been targeted by government-led cyberattacks.

Twitter did not respond to our request for more details about the warning e-mails. According to a report published Saturday in The Verge, "at least 11 Twitter users" -- including security professionals and mass surveillancee researchers -- received the e-mail from Twitter early Friday evening.

Precautionary Warning

Jeremy Hiebert, one of the founding directors of Coldhak, told us today, "We have not contacted Twitter as they have stated they will contact us with further information once they are ready. We have never received a warning like this before."

Hiebert added that he has responded to the warning by taking time to answer e-mails and "keep an eye on publications regarding these events."

The e-mail to Twitter users said the company was alerting them as a precaution. "At this time, we have no evidence they obtained your account information, but we're actively investigating this matter," according to Twitter. "We wish we had more we could share, but we don't have any additional information we can provide at this time."

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