Security Expert Rejects MP’s Twitter Hacking Claims

Collaboration SuitesSecuritySoftware

UK MP David Wright failed to tell the truth over an insulting Twitter message, according to Sophos security expert Graham Cluley

A security expert has dismissed claims by an MP that insulting messages sent via his Twitter account were down to his account on the micro-blogging service being tampered with.

In a posting on his blog this week, Sophos security expert Graham Cluley said that UK MP David Wright was not “telling the truth” about how a Tweet labeling the Conservative Party as “scum-sucking pigs” had been posted from his account.

“In my opinion, this case is pretty clear cut,” said Cluley. “The MP isn’t telling the full truth about what happened on his Twitter page. I think it’s most likely that he did post the message, and then decided upon the hacking excuse after the heat was turned on.

The post, which went out from the MP for Telford and Shropshire’s account on Monday referred to the Conservative party and claimed,”#ivenevervotedtory because you can put lipstick on a scum-sucking pig, but it’s still a scum-sucking pig. And cos they would ruin Britain”.

But in the latest posting on his Twitter account, Wright claimed that the Tweet had been tampered with after he sent it out. “What a commotion today. Looks like my tweets have been tinkered with. I will keep you posted,” the Tweet stated.

The timing of the apparent tampering is the issue according to Cluley who said it was unlikely that the message could be changed by a third-party after it had been sent.

“Wright is now claiming that although he did post about putting lipstick on pig, someone else added the phrase “scum-sucking” after he published his tweet,” said Cluley. “Hmm.. that would be a first. There are plenty of cases of hackers breaking into Twitter accounts and posting offensive messages, but I’ve never heard of them changing a message.”

The security expert also pointed out that Wright had made inflammatory remarks via Twitter in the past. “It’s perhaps relevant to realise that The Right Honourable David Wright MP has used similar language on his Twitter page in the past when discussing Tory leader David Cameron,” stated Cluley linking to a Tweet from Wright that described Cameron as “a hypocritical vicious leader of the nasty party”.

Cluley added that while the “scum-sucking” incident was not that serious in the long-run, it did demonstrate the pit-falls of publishing on the Internet without considering the repercussions. “…it is a salutary reminder to all of us to think about the consequences of what we post on the Internet, even if we are trying to be ‘down with the kids’ and riding the hip wave of social networking phenomena like Twitter. An inappropriate tweet may not just be the vehicle for data leakage, it can also damage your personal or corporate reputation,” he stated.