Unknown hackers broke into high-profile Twitter accounts belonging to billionaires, tech moguls, celebrities, and politicians. Online security professionals say that this incident should raise the alarm for the upcoming November elections. 

What is common of the accounts affected by the hack is that they all tweeted what seemed to be a Bitcoin scam. One tweet from the account of former President Barack Obama was seen asking followers to send money to a cryptocurrency account, with the promise of doubling their returns.

Experts suggest that in the future, online hacking may lead to more severe political consequences. James Lewis, who directs the Technology Policy Program supported by the Center for Strategic International Studies, has stated that campaigns may not be ready to face the dangers of threats like disparaging election-related tweets.

Campaigns must be ready for worst-case scenarios

Lisa Kaplan, head of Senator Angus King’s online campaign, has reminded political organizations to start thinking of contingencies to carry out if faced with such a scenario. Experts like Lewis have noted that there is nothing new about hacking threats, saying that this is only one of many incidents that should have already prompted a realization of urgency. 

Mick Baccio, former cybersecurity head for Pete Buttigieg’s campaign, said that while there is little that can be done to fully prepare for social media break-ins, campaigns must ready themselves for all possible situations. Baccio stated that a campaign must coordinate with social media groups and companies to map out contingency plans. Baccio has also added that laws protecting campaigns online would be ideal for dealing with threats of this nature.

Representatives demand accountability

In Congress, calls to action have been advanced in response to the digital break-ins. Rep. John Garamendi expressed his concern that election safety may be threatened. Garamendi tweeted that national online security needs to be stringently toughened up. Meanwhile, Rep. James Comer has requested that details of the hack, such as how it happened and what Twitter will do moving forward, be discussed in a briefing. 

Committee chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Maloney expressed that there is a need for the government to more adequately respond to digital break-ins and attacks. Other public officials have urged Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO, to work with the FBI and DOJ to take necessary security precautions to avoid similar incidents in the future.