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What are we to make of this Twitter breach?

The CEO of cyber security company FRSecure says the outcome could have been way worse.

VICTORIA, Minn. — We all knew it couldn't be true when former president Obama and Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos took to Twitter to tell us they'd double our $1,000 in Bitcoin contributions.

"The difference between the good guys and the bad guys is that the good guys influence you to do things and the bad guys use manipulation," FRSecure CEO Evan Francen said.

Francen said the Twitter breach from Wednesday was a "social engineering hack."

"The thing that sets social engineering attacks apart from any other attack is the human element," he explained. "A purely technical attack - I'm going for a piece of technology - I'm not going after a person."

And in this case, it seemed the main motivator was financial.

"When you look at the grand scale, it really wasn't a successful attack," Francen said. "It sounds kind of crazy. It appears to be money motivated, and all the attacker got was $120,000 which seems like a ton of money, but when you think about the effort that goes into this attack, it's not great."

Francen explained that he thinks the perpetrator might have been a foreign actor.

"I don't think it's a nation state," he said. "I don't think China or Russia is behind it because they would have sat on this and used it for political purposes later. A lot of times they will lie and wait, they won't go out and try to get $120,000. There are bigger things they can do with this stuff."

We asked Francen if he thought this hack could have been a practice run for November, leading up to the 2020 Election.

"No, because now you've exposed the hole right?" he said. "So it could be a dry run for November, but if I was going to do that, I would have another hole or avenue but usually, you do dry runs on one-offs. Maybe on your account, or some inconspicuous account."

Francen said the biggest thing we should be worrying about come the 2020 election is misinformation...and disinformation.

"Don't believe everything you read and hear, especially online," he said. "You read news stories on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and you think, oh my God, it's gospel. It's not."

Plus, he added that although the breach feels big, the outcome could have been a lot worse.

"Globally, we detected it fairly quickly, responded fairly quickly," he said. "We limited the damage to 120 victims out of potentially a 120 million victims, so yeah, it was pretty good I think."


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