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Social media site Twitter has informed some users that state-sponsored hackers may have attempted to access their accounts. For the first time, Twitter has warned an undisclosed number of users that their accounts may have been accessed by “state-sponsored actors”.

The social media giant, which is currently investigating the incident, said that hackers may have tried to obtain emails, IP addresses or phone numbers associated with the accounts.

Twitter is the latest to notify users that it may have been hacked by state-sponsored organisations, following government agencies, businesses and media.

Cyber security expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC, James Lewis, told the BBC that he thinks the attacks may have been state-sponsored because such attacks frequently have more substantial resources at their disposal including human agents and communications intercepts.

Many users who received the notification do not know why they would be of interest to a state-sponsored attacker.

The founder of Winnipeg-based non-profit Coldhak, which was one of the accounts that received the notice from Twitter, said that the organisation had experienced “no noticeable impact of this attack”.

Motherboard discovered that a large number of those who had been targeted and received the notification had links to the cyber security world, but there was nothing to connect these users to one another.

Twitter is the second social media site to notify users if it believes they are being targeted by state-affiliated actors, following Facebook’s example earlier this autumn.

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