Hackers using social media tools to take control of an account, manipulate a user’s timelines and then delete posts have a lot of potential for abuse, according to the experts who warned of the risks.
Twitter and other platforms are being targeted for cyberattacks and fraud, and the companies have to protect users against such threats.
A hacker can use social media to steal information about an account and create fake accounts to attack users, said Michael J. Gershenfeld, a cyber security expert at New York University.
The threat is so serious that “a person who has a Twitter or Facebook account is more likely to be compromised than one who doesn’t have a Twitter.”
“Twitter is a highly targeted target because of its reach and reach is very high,” said Michael Karpowitz, a senior security researcher at cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike.
“A hacker who has an account on Twitter is more like an actual hacker than an ordinary user.”
While there are a number of popular social media accounts, they are often used for malicious purposes, such as advertising.
And there are several tools that can be used to control the accounts of accounts, which can then be used for other types of malicious activity, such a spear phishing attack, said Adam Segal, chief security strategist at security firm Kaspersky Lab.
“Twitter was built for this kind of use and they have a very high level of technical sophistication,” Segal said.
Twitter has set up a team of researchers to help with the investigation.
A Twitter spokesman said in a statement that it is “actively investigating these reports.”
The company has warned that it does not allow bots on its platform and said it is working with law enforcement agencies to help them with the investigations.
The Twitter account for the actress who had been critical of the president’s immigration policies, Carmen Carrera, has been deactivated and replaced with a message that reads “no bots, no trolls.”
The message has since been removed.
Twitter declined to say how many accounts were used for the hacking.
In a statement, Twitter said the account was created on the morning of March 15, but that “the account has been inactive since at least July, and has been unverified since at the time of our initial investigation.”