The Civil Service’s rogue tweet about “Truth Twisters”

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

The UK Civil Service’s Twitter account, followed by over 240,000 people, posted an eyebrow-raising tweet last night:

“Arrogant and offensive. Can you imagine having to work with these truth twisters?”

The tweet was posted minutes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson concluded a controversial briefing where he defended his chief advisor Dominic Cummings, who had allegedly flouted the UK’s Coronavirus “stay at home” lockdown regulations.

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Cummings is reported to have twice travelled 270 miles from London to Durham with his family, some of whom were exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19 at the time, while the general public has been told to stay at home, and not visit their families.

Within 10 minutes the unauthorised message had been retweeted 30,000 times, which probably reflects the public’s feelings at the moment.

The UK’s Cabinet Office announced shortly afterwards that the tweet was unauthorised, and that an investigation was underway.

No doubt that means someone in the Civil Service’s social media team will be losing their job.

Right now it sounds like the UK government is taking the tweet more seriously than Cummings’ actions.

You can have a strong, unique password, you can have multi-factor authentication in place, but good luck preventing a member of your social media team ‘going rogue’.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

3 comments on “The Civil Service’s rogue tweet about “Truth Twisters””

  1. I'm sure there's some way to set up a two stage authorisation for social media where one account can author drafts and a second account can push the publish button. Or perhaps that's what happened here and the entire social media team agreed that this indeed is the correct statement to make about the British government

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