July’s Twitter hack and bitcoin scam should impel corporates and even governments into more forcefully counteracting the “weaponization” of social media giants, the New York State Department of Financial Services said Wednesday.

The Twitter hack demonstrates, more than anything, the risk to society when systemically important institutions are left to regulate themselves,” NYDFS said in its final report.

  • Researchers were troubled the hackers (allegedly teenagers) could break into Twitter, co-opt major accounts and spread a scam using only "basic techniques."
  • The hack, whose backers launched a double-your-money bitcoin scam, only netted $118,000 in crypto. But it brought Twitter "to its knees" and in so doing exposed its inadequate security mechanisms, NYDFS said.
  • NYDFS said governments and regulators should bolster their cybersecurity safeguards, treat cyber as "critical infrastructure" and closely monitor "systemic threats" against the social media giants.
  • "The time for government action is now," NYDFS said.

This is a developing story.

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