US top cybersecurity diplomat and the head of the US State Department’s Bureau for Cyberspace and Digital Policy, Nathaniel Fick, said that his Twitter account has been hacked, adding that it’s “perils of the job.”
It remains unclear who stands behind the hack of how they might have made use of Fick’s account. He was due to fly to Seoul this week for cybersecurity cooperation-related talks with the South Korean government.
The diplomat owns an unverified personal Twitter channel with around 5,000 followers, where he posts “mostly weather, mountain biking, and backcountry skiing.” He prefers to be represented by the official Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy account for professional matters.
Fick now leads the newly-formed Bureau, which is aiming to make digital rights issues an “intrinsic part of US foreign policy” during times of heightened pressure from foreign actors like China and Russia.
President Joe Biden allegedly expressed his intent to nominate Fick for the position back in June, and the diplomat was formally sworn into office in September as America’s first “ambassador-at-large” for cyberspace and digital policy.
Meanwhile, North Korean threat actors have been actively going after southern targets. As such, a North Korean APT group Lazarus has been using credential phishing attacks in a campaign against South Korea for over a year.
Similarly, North Korean-backed hackers planted malicious software in Microsoft Office documents disguised to look like a South Korean government report on the Halloween crush, Google’s anti-hacking unit, to spread malware back in 2022.