Activists and Journalists from Venezuela and other areas have fallen victim to malicious Twitter hacks that have been logging into their accounts to spread fake news through a new technique called “Doubleswitch.”
According to a report by a digital rights organization called Digital Now, the hackers first take over the account and then they start making name changes as part of hiding their identity. The digital rights organization stated that the hackers then create a new account with the name and details of the original account including the profile photos. They do this so that the original owner of the account will not be able to succeed in their attempts to recover their accounts. The hackers have given the name “doubleswitch” to this new Twitter hacking technique.
“Attackers who gain control of an account can silence and embarrass critics, and can also create uncertainty and spread misinformation,” stated Digital Now.
The hack has so far affected activists in Venezuela, Myanmar, and Bahrain among other countries. Activists affected had a hard time trying to recover their accounts and in most instances, recovery was completely impossible. One parliament member from Venezuela was also affected alongside human rights activist Miguel Pizarro and journalist Milagros Socorro.
Digital Now claims that how the hackers gained access to the accounts is still a mystery. The digital rights organization realized that the hacks were evolving after it received numerous calls through its digital security hotline. It did not disclose the number of people that were affected by the malicious attacks which can apparently also be applied to Instagram and Facebook.
Twitter has reportedly been working with the victims to try and recover the accounts though there is no news about what the company is doing to shield the rest of the users on the microblogging platform. Social media firms have been advised to upgrade their rules and features so as to prevent such attacks. Facebook has encouraged its users to use the two-factor authentication to as added precaution. The social media giant also stated that it is working on a combination of manual and automated systems that will block accounts used for malicious and fraudulent purposes.