Lawmakers Write to Twitter After Large-Scale Hack

Several Senators and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation sent a letter to Twitter yesterday addressing the recent widespread hacks that affected several high-profile users. Some of the victims include individuals like Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, presidential candidate Joe Biden, and companies like Apple. The hack caused affected accounts to post tweets requesting their followers to donate bitcoin to the same cryptocurrency account.

Although Twitter announced that it would investigate the incident, the Commerce Committee, which “has oversight and legislation over all things related to the internet and consumer protection,” stated its concern with the “apparent failure” of Twitter’s internal controls in preventing the attack. It wrote in its letter, “Millions of Americans who follow notable figures on Twitter believe that the posts they see from those figures are legitimate.” Continuing, it mentioned the risk of future Twitter hacks, saying, “It is not difficult to imagine future attacks being used to spread disinformation or otherwise sow discord through high-profile accounts, particularly though those of world leaders.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) also sent a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Wednesday to ask security-related questions, like, “Did this event represent a breach of users’ own account security or of Twitter’s systems?” and “Were accounts protected by two-factor authentication successfully targeted in this breach?” Hawley pushed Dorsey to reach out to the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to secure the site and prevent further breaches. The Commerce Committee also requested a brief of the incident from Twitter by July 23.