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Epilepsy Foundation Targeted in Mass Cyberattack on Twitter
The incident occurred during National Epilepsy Awareness Month, when the Foundation’s Twitter feed gets maximum traffic.
Image for Representation (Source: Twitter/ Epilepsy Foundation)
Cyber hackers in the US targeted the Epilepsy Foundation, sending videos and images of flashing strobe lights. The followers of Epilepsy Foundation were targeted on Twitter last month, with an aim to trigger seizures in those with epilepsy. The Epilepsy Foundation announced about the same in a news release, where they accepted about being the target of a mass cyberattack. According to the foundation, a formal criminal complaint has been filed with law enforcement authorities. The attackers have used the Foundation’s Twitter handle and hashtags to post flashing or strobing lights.
Surprisingly, the incident occurred during the National Epilepsy Awareness Month, which is the time when the maximum number of people suffering from epilepsy and seizures go through the Foundation’s feed on Twitter. Jacqueline French, MD, chief medical and innovation officer of the Epilepsy Foundation, said, Flashing lights at certain intensities or certain visual patterns can trigger seizures in those with photosensitive epilepsy".
French is also a professor of Neurology at NYU Langone Health's Comprehensive Epilepsy Center. He added, “While the population of those with photosensitive epilepsy is small, the impact can be quite serious. Many are not even aware they have photosensitivity until they have a seizure”.
As per Allison Nichol, the Epilepsy Foundation’s director of legal advocacy, “The Foundation identified at least 30 different accounts participating in the calculated action.” It is yet not clear as to how many people were affected by the attacks.
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