Twitter said Friday the account of chief executive Jack Dorsey had been “compromised” after a series of erratic and offensive messages were posted. The tweets containing racial slurs and suggestions about a bomb showed up around 20:00 GMT on the @jack account of the founder of the short messaging service before being deleted.
Some of the tweets contained the hashtag #ChucklingSquad, which was believed to indicate the identity of the hacker group. The same calling card was left behind during recent hacks of other high-profile social media personalities.
The messages contained racial epithets, and included a retweet of a message supporting Nazi Germany. Twitter said that the phone number associated with Dorsey’s account was “compromised due to a security oversight by the mobile provider,” allowing a hacker to posts tweets to @jack by sending text messages.
Dorsey’s account has been secured and there was “no indication that Twitter’s systems have been compromised,” according to the San Francisco-based internet firm.
It appeared that tweets posted on Dorsey’s account by the hacker were up for about a half-hour before they were removed.
British-based security consultant Graham Cluley said the incident highlighted the importance of two-factor authentication, where a user must confirm the account via an external service.
Cluley advised people to make sure they use two-factor authentication and check which applications are linked to their accounts.
The incident raised fresh concerns about how social media users even prominent ones can have their accounts compromised and used for misinformation, a point highlighted by Canadian member of parliament Michelle Rempel Garner.