Author: Mathew Ingram / Source: Fortune
Two of the most difficult problems in the current world of always-on communication are hacking and the spread of “fake news” or misinformation. In some cases, these two problems are combining to create one big headache.
In Venezuela, for example, digital-rights group Access Now says it discovered recently that Twitter accounts belonging to a local journalist and a member of parliament and human-rights activist had been hijacked, using a procedure it refers to as “the Double Switch.”
The hackers then used the accounts to spread fake news, something that has been particularly problematic in Venezuela because of the political unrest there, including a government crackdown that involves surveillance and censorship.
The journalist and the politician/activist both got in touch with a digital help-line that Access Now operates in a number of countries and asked for help in getting their accounts back.
According to the group, the Double Switch begins when a hacker gets access to the login credentials for an account, whether through a “phishing” attack (which often involves a phony email request pretending to be from the service itself) or through other means.
The hacker then resets the login name and password, as well as…
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