On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia carried out a massive online spying operation, snooping on the accounts of more than 6,000 Twitter users and prosecutors say Now, cybersecurity experts warn that similar “insider threats” could surface again if tech companies don’t make a concerted effort to ward them off.
The company responded to the federal charges on Wednesday, saying that the company is thankful that federal prosecutors uncovered alleged spying and that it would cooperate with future investigations. A spokesperson added that Twitter “limits access to sensitive account information to a limited group of trained and vetted employees.”
According to a Business insider, to protect against future insider spying, tech companies need to vet employees and implement more rigorous protections of user data across the board, three cybersecurity consultants told Business Insider.
Executive vice president of cybersecurity strategy said companies like Twitter should focus on detecting abnormal behavior by employees. Kalember estimated that more than 30% of data breaches happen with the help of insiders.
Business Insider reported that the alleged spying by Saudi agents is just the latest example of foreign governments targeting users on US-owned platforms. A series of high-profile iPhone hacks earlier this year were reportedly conducted by Chinese officials, while investigations by law enforcement and media have uncovered different hacking carried out by Russia in recent years to influence US policy.