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Twitter tumbles on concerns about hacking activity

(Reuters) – Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) shares fell almost 7 percent after the company said it was investigating unusual traffic that may be state-sponsored hackers, and, in what seemed to be a non-related issue, a security company said hackers used the platform to try to steal the user’s data.

The Twitter logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, united states, September 28, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

Twitter said in a blog that it detected suspicious traffic to a customer-support forum, while researching a security bug that exposed data, including users ‘ phone country codes and the details of escrow accounts. It said that the bug is fixed Nov. 16.

Twitter observed a large amount of traffic to the customer service of the site comes from individual internet-IP addresses in China and Saudi Arabia.

“Although we can’t confirm intent or grant for certain, it is possible that some of these IP addresses may have links with state-sponsored actors,” the blog said.

“We continue to err on the side of full transparency in this area and have an update of the law enforcement on our findings,” he said.

A spokesperson of the company refused to work if Twitter shares posted their biggest fall in more than two months.

Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter blamed the decline on concerns that the news of a breach can be harmful for the growth and the involvement of the user.

“It is clear that a violation if it impairs the confidence of users in the platform,” he said.

Separately, security software maker Trend Micro Inc said in a blog earlier on Monday that attackers sent out two tweets in October in an attempt to steal data from previously infected machines.

The hackers hidden clues in the tweeted memes that have secretly ordered infected devices to send information, such as usernames, screen images and other content, Trend Micro said.

The Twitter spokesperson declined to comment on the Trend Micro report.

Reporting by Jim Finkle in New York; Additional reporting by Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru and Angela Moon in New York; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Sonya Hepinstall

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