Twitter, a social media, has for the first time, sent warnings to a number of users that their accounts may have been hacked by “state-sponsored actors”.
The Chinese and North Korean governments are thought to be responsible for some cyber hacking of western companies and governments. The number of accounts affected by the suspected hack is unclear.
Coldhak, a Canadian non-profit organisation, said it had received a warning from Twitter.
Some IT experts say the hackers who breached Sony’s computer network late last year and leaked huge amounts of confidential information were backed by the North Korean state which Pyongyang has consistently denied.
James Lewis, a cybersecurity expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC, said that government-backed attackers have far greater resources at their disposal than criminal hacker gangs. They may be able to use other measures such as human agents or communications intercepts to successfully bypass any security measures, he said.