It is the first time that Twitter has explicitly blamed governments for a hacking attack on its service.
Twitter has sent emails to some of its users warning them that they may have been targeted by government hackers.
The site warned that “state-sponsored actors” have attempted to steal information including email addresses and phone numbers.
It is the first time that Twitter has explicitly blamed governments for a hacking attack on its service – however it did not point to a specific country.
In the emails, Twitter writes: “As a precaution, we are alerting you that your Twitter account is one of a small group of accounts that may have been targeted by state-sponsored actors.
“We believe that these actors (possibly associated with a government) may have been trying to obtain information such as email addresses, IP addresses, and/or phone numbers.”
It recommends users affected try Tor Project’s anonymised browsing technology to protect themselves.
The full security alert was posted on Twitter by Canadian non-profit organisation Coldhak.
Both Facebook and Google display pop-up messages warning users when their accounts have been targeted by government hackers.
One of the most high profile cases of state-backed cyber attacks was last year’s compromise of Sony Pictures’ systems.
The attack was widely believed to have been carried out by North Korea, and was thought to be in response to the release of comedy film The Interview which ridiculed the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un.
Source: SKY NEWS