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MICROSOFT CORPORATION

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Twitter's security fell short before hack targeting celebrities, regulator says

10/14/2020 | 09:30am EST

NEW YORK, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Twitter Inc suffered from cybersecurity shortfalls that enabled a "simple" hack attributed to a Florida teenager to take over the accounts of several of the world's most famous people in July, according to a report released on Wednesday.

The report by New York's Department of Financial Services also recommended that the largest social media companies be deemed systemically important, like some banks following the 2008 financial crisis, with a dedicated regulator monitoring their ability to combat cyberattacks and election interference.

"That Twitter was vulnerable to an unsophisticated attack shows that self-regulation is not the answer," said Linda Lacewell, the financial services superintendent.

Twitter has acknowledged that some employees were duped into sharing account credentials prior to the hack.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered a probe following the July 15 hack of celebrity Twitter accounts, in an alleged scam that stole more than $118,000 in Bitcoin.

Those whose accounts were hacked included U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden; former President Barack Obama; billionaires Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Elon Musk; singer Kanye West, and his wife Kim Kardashian, the reality TV star.

Lacewell said hackers obtained log-in credentials after calling several employees, pretending to work in Twitter's information technology department, and claiming to be responding to problems with the company's Virtual Private Network, which had become common because employees were working from home.

"The extraordinary access the hackers obtained with this simple technique underscores Twitter's cybersecurity vulnerability and the potential for devastating consequences," the report said.

Twitter's lack at the time of a chief information security officer also made the San Francisco-based company more vulnerable, the report said.

Florida prosecutors said Graham Ivan Clark was the mastermind behind the hack, and charged the 17-year-old Tampa resident as an adult with 30 felonies.

Clark has pleaded not guilty. Federal prosecutors charged two others with aiding the hack. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Andrea Ricci)


© Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AMAZON.COM, INC. 0.15% 3207.33 Delayed Quote.73.37%
BITCOIN - EURO 0.04% 15879.325 Real-time Quote.145.25%
MICROSOFT CORPORATION -0.33% 214.77 Delayed Quote.37.10%
TESLA, INC. 3.60% 592.448 Delayed Quote.579.87%
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2021 158 B - -
Net income 2021 51 344 M - -
Net cash 2021 76 102 M - -
P/E ratio 2021 31,9x
Yield 2021 1,01%
Capitalization 1 628 B 1 628 B -
EV / Sales 2021 9,82x
EV / Sales 2022 8,77x
Nbr of Employees 163 000
Free-Float 99,9%
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Mean consensus BUY
Number of Analysts 39
Average target price 242,47 $
Last Close Price 215,37 $
Spread / Highest target 29,1%
Spread / Average Target 12,6%
Spread / Lowest Target -16,4%
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NameTitle
Satya Nadella Chief Executive Officer & Non-Independent Director
Bradford L. Smith President & Chief Legal Officer
John Wendell Thompson Independent Chairman
Kirk Koenigsbauer COO & VP-Experiences & Devices Group
Amy E. Hood Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President
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