But governments are supposed to be the good guys, right?
Twitter has sent messages to an unknown number of its users warning that "state-sponsored actors" have attempted to access their account.
Until now, Twitter's "hack" record had been unblemished. An email Twitter sent to targeted account holders outlines the sort of information they believe the government-backed hackers might have been targeting, including email and IP addresses, and phone numbers (you might want to think twice about how many of these details you share with your Twitter account).
One targeted account, a Canadian non-profit organisation Coldhak, posted Twitter's message on its own timeline - showing Twitter's recommended steps of attempting to use secure browser network Tor:
Neither Twitter nor any of the affected accounts have levelled an accusation as to which government or state might have attempted to access their information - so as to whether it's Western, Eastern or Asian, your guess is as good as any. It's the first indication that Twitter has a policy to contact users over state-sponsored attacks - suggesting it's either never happened before, or that they've changed policies to fall in line with other groups including Google and Facebook.
Motherboard spoke to several of the targeted accounts, failing to identify any meaningful link between any of them. "It's all just very very strange to me," said one unnamed user who had received the message. "I think of myself as keeping a pretty low profile, I'm a big believer in the democratic process and non-violence, I'm hardly radical. Why would a government want to know more about me?"
Time to take up the lost art of letter writing?