Top Republican criticizes Twitter's briefing on massive hack

Top Republican criticizes Twitter's briefing on massive hack
© Greg Nash

Rep. James ComerJames (Jamie) R. ComerHouse panel advances bill to ban Postal Service leaders from holding political positions House Republicans investigating California secretary of state's contract with Biden-linked firm GOP lawmakers want answers from Disney on Mulan, China MORE (R-Ky.), ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, is criticizing Twitter over the briefing the company gave Congress on last month's historic hack.

Comer wrote in a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey that while the social media giant's transparency after the hack has been "commendable," it was "unable to answer several basic questions" during last week's briefing.

The July hack was likely the largest to target Twitter's system. The accounts  of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, former President Obama, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Microsoft founder Bill Gates were all hijacked to post an apparent bitcoin scam.

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Twitter later revealed that hackers had successfully manipulated employees into providing them back-end access to internal systems.

Comer wrote in Tuesday's letter that Twitter wasn't able to answer questions "about employee access to user accounts and Twitter’s arrangement with its contractors."

"Such easy access to Twitter’s internal controls is emblematic of the cavalier nature with which the company takes its security," he wrote.

Comer also drilled down on Twitter's explanation that the breach targeted employees working from home.

He asked the platform to provide its guidance on remote work, raising concerns that employees with access to user accounts may be more vulnerable.

Dorsey announced earlier this year that Twitter employees would have the option to work from home indefinitely moving forward. 

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Comer is asking for detailed answers regarding security guidelines and training given to Twitter employees by Aug. 18.

"The damage a malicious nation-state could do if they were to devote resources towards compromising Twitter’s security could be grave," he wrote.