Canadian senator's personal data leaked online in apparent Twitter hack
Published Sunday, January 6, 2019 11:44PM EST Last Updated Monday, January 7, 2019 8:01AM EST
Conservative Senator Linda Frum’s Twitter account was hacked Sunday night, with those responsible sharing personal information including her drivers licence and using racial slurs in their Tweets.
“hi linda, can u drive us to the mall please?” read one Tweet.
The Tweet then shared an image of both the front and back of her drivers licence, showing personal information including her address.
No motive for the hack was made readily apparent, but the perpetrators tweeted that they “don’t appreciate corrupt politicians” and included an emoji of the Palestinian flag.
The group of hackers linked accounts and referred to themselves as the “spank gang,” claiming to “run twitter.”
The hacking comes just days after a high profile cyberattack in Germany, where several politicians and officials - including German Chancellor Angela Merkel - had their personal details leaked online.
Frum isn’t the first Canadian Senator to be hacked.
Conservative Senator Don Plett had his Twitter account hacked in late October, although the hackers took a more lighthearted approach. Rather than sharing personal details, they shared their thoughts on the feud between popular female rap artists Nicki Minaj and Cardi B - and changed his photo to that of a muscular, heavily tattooed young man.
Plett’s account was quickly restored and his public damage control took the form of a lighthearted Tweet.
Such high profile hacking incidents have prompted concerns among experts about furthering targeting of politicians and elections.
The government introduced the omnibus Bill C-76 that included measures to modernize election laws to tackle such concerns. The legislation created a new offence of computer interference aimed at curbing hackers from other countries interfering with the Canadian electoral process.
However, Elections Canada Chief Electoral Officer Stephane Perrault and Yves Cote, the commissioner of elections, both warned that the new offence might not do much to slow the efforts of hackers, as the law requires proof that the offender intended to affect the result of the election.
That means hackers who are seeking to sow confusion will not be affected by the new law.
Canada's Communications Security Establishment also launched a new cybersecurity centre in response to increased cyber threats. The goal of the organization is to take “a first step to respond to cyber threats in a more coordinated and effective manner.”
With files from The Canadian Press