In case 2020 wasn’t dystopian enough, hackers on July 15 hijacked the Twitter accounts of former President Barack Obama, presidential hopeful Joe Biden, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Kim Kardashian, and Apple, among others. Each hijacked annual posted a agnate fake message. The high-profile alone or aggregation wanted to philanthropically give back to the association during COVID-19 and would double any donations made to a bitcoin wallet, identical letters said. The donations followed.

The hack on the apparent may appear to be a boilerplate banking scam. But the breach has air-conditioned implications for democracy.

Serious political implications

As a academic of internet babyminding and infrastructure, I see the basal cybercrimes of this incident, such as hacking accounts and banking fraud, as far less apropos than the society-wide political implications. Social media – and Twitter in accurate – is now the public sphere. Using a hijacked account, it would be simple to wreak bread-and-butter damage, start a civic aegis crisis, or create a social panic.

Consider some of the abeyant threats to association posed by the takeover of technology infrastructure.

  • Market stability. Coordinated rogue tweets from the accounts of Apple, Facebook, Google, Netflix and Microsoft could easily crash the stock market, at least temporarily, acerbic aplomb in markets.
  • Societal panic. A false admonishing about an approaching agitator attack from a major media aggregation annual could create a alarming public panic.
  • National security. Twitter is the belvedere of choice for President Donald Trump. A adopted antagonist hijacking his annual and announcement a nuclear strike on North Korea could be catastrophic.
  • Democracy. Hijacked accounts could sow adapted political bamboozlement that sways or seeks to delegitimize the 2020 presidential election.

As such, what happened is not about banking crime. It is a austere threat to us all.