Over the weekend I was hacked.
Not all of my accounts, and I have very different and secure passwords for my important things like banking, but my Twitter account for the space of a few hours started telling people how I had found the job of their dreams and all they needed to do was to click on a link. I have no idea how it happened and fixed it asap, but not before dozens of DMs had been sent out to people I would hate to be spamming.
Was this my fault? No. My password was reasonably secure with numbers and letters forming it, and I hadn’t been giving access to any old website willy nilly. However, did it affect me? Yes. I felt a burning need to message everyone who had received spam under my name and apologise, despite the fact that this would both imply it had indeed been my fault and would probably constitute more to my spam count.
Thankfully the link being sent out was relatively harmless (i.e. a link to a supposed job opportunity rather than anything x-rated) and was picked up on within a couple of hours of it happening on a Sunday morning, but it did make me consider the implications of a bigger hack on a council controlled account. What might the implications be? Who would respond? And what would they say?
There are many different severities of hacking incidents and people far smarter than I have spoken about this in detail, especially around the technical side of things. The arguments over whether using a 12 or 15 character cryptographic hash function to generate a salted password is enough is beyond me – I barely understand that very sentence, nor know whether it is correct – but the issue of the more human side of interventions is something I do understand and can grasp with both hands.