Hackers briefly gained control of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's account Friday, 30 August sending racist and vulgar tweets to his 4.2 million followers.
Some of the tweets were up for about 30 minutes before Twitter took them down.
The tweets included messages such as "Hitler is innocent" and, using a vulgarity, asked "bald skeleton head tramp," apparently referring to Dorsey, to unsuspend certain accounts.
Twitter, responding to the development, said that it’s investigating the hack.
The San Francisco-based company suspended accounts that the hacker or hackers retweeted while they had control of Dorsey's account. It also suspended the account that appeared to be responsible for the hack.
TWITTER SAYS CELL CARRIER COMPROMISED, SMS SERVICE USED TO TWEET
The tweets have come via Cloudhopper, a company that Twitter previously acquired to help with its SMS service. Twitter said that the breach came via Dorsey's cell carrier, it said that the number associated with Dorsey's account was compromised due to security oversight by the mobile provider, which might have allowed hackers to send the tweets using the text messaging service.
Based on some of the tweets sent from Dorsey’s account, a group called ‘Chuckle Squad’ was likely responsible. Other than getting accounts unsuspended, the group has not said why it hacked Dorsey’s account.
The answer may be simply that it could. Even if Dorsey used two-factor authentication for his Twitter account, hackers have learned how to get around this extra security measure. Twitter declined to comment when asked if Dorsey used a two-factor login for his account.
The incident comes as Twitter and Dorsey have promised to improve the "health" and civility of discourse on the social media service, cracking down on hate speech and abuse. Long criticized for allowing bad behaviour to run rampant, Twitter has been trying to rein in the worst offenders, banning accounts that violate its terms and making others less visible.
While Twitter says it is making progress, it has met with criticism both from those who say it's not doing enough and from others who say it's going too far in limiting speech.
‘NO ONE IS SAFE’: TWITTER SUSPECTS WHITE SUPREMACIST HACKERS
Keeping with the trend, Dorsey’s account being hacked triggered discussion on Twitter, while some had their share of fun, some took the hack seriously. A user even said that the tweets indicate the hacker to be a white supremacist.
NOT THE FIRST TIME FOR JACK
This is not the first time Dorsey has been hacked. In 2016, his account was taken over by the hacker group OurMine, which also attacked other high-profile social media leaders, including the Facebook account of CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
(With inputs from AP)