How to decode the online tweets of a CIA agent who lost control of his Twitter account to a Russian troll


The CIA’s online Twitter account was hacked by a Russian intelligence officer in March.

The agency’s social media account and a separate Twitter account that the agency uses for private business were also compromised, according to a U.S. official familiar with the matter.

The official said the CIA did not know who the hacker was, nor what information was stolen from the agency’s systems.

Twitter was not immediately available for comment.

The CIA was aware of the breach but did not immediately disclose it to the public.

The agent, a former CIA employee who has not been identified, tweeted about his ordeal and the cyberattack shortly before midnight on March 7, the official said.

A Russian Twitter account linked to a Twitter botnet also posted photos of the agent’s computer and the tweets, the U.N. official said, adding that the CIA was not aware of whether the agent was also using Twitter.

The tweets, in which the agent discussed his ordeal, were sent to his 2.4 million followers.

Twitter has been the target of hacks before.

In November, Twitter announced it was shutting down accounts that had been hacked by the Russian government.

Twitter is also investigating reports that the Russian Government was behind an alleged breach of its accounts.

Twitter said it has shut down more than 1,000 accounts linked to the Russian Ministry of Defense and intelligence agencies, and that the accounts are being reviewed.

Twitter and the CIA declined to provide details about the accounts, saying only that they are part of a broad, global cybersecurity effort.

Twitter did not provide an account of the agency employee who had tweeted the tweets.

The accounts are not the only ones linked to Russian activity on Twitter.

Twitter also is under scrutiny after it was revealed that the Twitter account of a Russian lawmaker, Igor Korolev, was hacked in February.

Twitter suspended KoroleV’s account in March and said it was investigating.

The Russian government has denied involvement in the hacks.

The FBI said last week it was probing the Russian cyberattack.

CNN’s Mark Berman, Dana Priest and Alex Griswold contributed to this report.

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