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Florida CFO fears Twitter breach could target economy, elections

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LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 13: In this photo illustration, logos for the microblogging site Twitter, displayed on the internet on September 13, 2013 in London, England. Twitter has announced plans to float on the stockmarket. (Photo illustration by Mary Turner/Getty Images)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Cap News) — The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is being called on to investigate a recent security breach at Twitter that compromised at least eight highprofile users’ accounts.

The goal is to figure out what went wrong in hopes of preventing similar attacks from interfering with the state’s economy and elections.

Last week’s hack resulted in the accounts of figures like Bill Gates, Barack Obama and Joe Biden posting tweets that promised to double your money if you sent them Bitcoin.

“What’s a concern to me is every state agency, every federal agency depends on Twitter in order to get official statements out,” Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said.

Patronis has asked FDLE to aid the FBI and other law enforcement investigating the incident. He said it could help Twitter identify how to prevent future attacks.

“This is a call to action of Twitter needing to step up its game to ensure that whatever extra security measures need to be put in place are done immediately,” said Patronis.

His main concern going forward is the possibility of hackers manipulating the economy.

“We’ve got a state that has $170 billion in our state retirement account. If somebody was to manipulate the wrong CEOs’ – or the right CEOs’ – Twitter accounts to send a message out, that sends our values of our state retirements plummeting,” said Patronis.

But he also worries an attack on the Twitter account of an elections supervisor could have implications for the primary or general election.

“You know, (claiming) we’ve extended voting hours by an extra hour but that was never the case and then that gets out and gets reported,” said Patronis.

Patronis has a simple tip for identifying potential schemes on social media: If you see something that sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

If you see something suspicious on your own social media account or someone else’s, you should report it to fraudfreeflorida.com.

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