Insider threat report: Former Twitter employees charged with spying for Saudi Arabia

Spies within Twitter

Insider threats are malicious threats to an organization that come from employees and other people working at that organization. This type of threat is particularly difficult to combat because insiders may have extensive knowledge about the information security systems of the targeted entity. Furthermore, they may have credentials allowing them to access sensitive data stored by the organization and other areas of high risk.

Let’s explore an insider attack on Twitter conducted by two of its former employees. We will analyze the key lessons learned from the attack and provide recommendations on how to avoid insider attacks

The attack against Twitter

In 2020, U.S. prosecutors commenced legal proceedings in a federal court against two former employees of Twitter. The two employees used their access to obtain, without authorization, sensitive information about Saudi political dissidents. The collected information included, without limitation, phone numbers, location data and email addresses.

A grand jury in the U.S. has charged the employees with acting as agents of a foreign government, money laundering, wire fraud and other charges. One of the employees had the position of Twitter’s head of social media partnerships for North Africa and the Middle East. He allegedly met

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