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New Twitter Link Hack Calls 911 From Your Mobile Device

By November 10, 2016May 25th, 2021Blog, Cybersecurity

newxtwitterThere’s a new viral link making the rounds on Twitter that you should advise your staff to steer clear of. If you see a link that begins with “goo.gl,” don’t click it. If you do, not only will it crash your Twitter app if you’re on your smartphone, but after it does that, it will place a call to 911.

Worse, as soon as the first call ends, it will keep dialing back.
As a result of this viral link, Emergency Service operators in Thurston County, Washington were recently inundated with non-emergency calls, and the fear is that the problem could spread quickly.

The hacker who created the poisoned link, an 18-year old Florida native whose name is being withheld by law enforcement, has already been identified and arrested. Unfortunately, the internet doesn’t forget, and his link is still making the rounds.
This is yet another example of how dangerous our interconnected world can be.

We now live in a world where computer viruses can kill. Hackers can infiltrate medical devices keeping patients alive and either turn them off, or cause them to malfunction, resulting in death.

A poisoned link like this one can easily overload local 911 systems, paralyzing their operations and delaying first responders to the scene of a crisis.

For the time being, these events are occurring in isolation, but it would not take much in the way of coordination to launch a devastating, tightly targeted attack. Bear in mind that just last week, much of the internet service in the US was disrupted by a massive ‘botnet attack on Dyn.

As ever, the first line of defense is education, and the second is diligence. Now is a very good time to remind all your employees that if they get a link from someone they don’t know, whether it’s in their email, on Twitter, or some other platform, clicking on it is a very bad idea that can have dire, real world consequences.

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.