On March 29th the US Strategic Commend Twitter feed mysteriously posted a garbled tweet. Only 13 characters long, the tweet read ;l;;gmlxzssaw.
And within moments of the tweet being posted many were speculating at to what it could possibly mean. What the US Strategic Commend twitter account hacked, or had one of its staff members inadvertently posted its password, or worse still some type of secret launch code!?
30 minutes later a reply to the tweet apologised for any confusion and advised social media users to simply disregard the tweet. But in reality that wasn’t ever likely to happen.
While the real reason for the tweet was most likely going to be entirely mundane, this didn’t stop a Daily Dot reporter from filing a Freedom of Information Request (yes, really) to finally know for sure the reason behind the unintelligible tweet’s existence.
The response? Well ht appears that taking over the Twitter feed of the US Strategic Commend really is child’s play. Literally.
It turns out that the Twitter manager, presumably working from home, left the Twitter account open and unattended on a computer. While he was momentarily away his young child managed to commandeer his keyboard (and with it the Twitter feed).
The explanation of the tweet is as follows: The Command’s Twitter manager, while in a telework status, momentarily left the Command’s Twitter account open and unattended. His very young child took advantage of the situation and started playing with the keys and unfortunately, and unknowingly, posted the tweet. Absolutely nothing nefarious occurred, i.e., no hacking of our Twitter account. The post was discovered and notice to delete it occurred telephonically.
It’s another funny working-from-home gaffe that we’ve seen plenty of during the various COVID-19 lockdowns. But it’s perhaps also a good demonstration that it only takes a few moments for someone to creep onto an unattended computer and cause a little havoc.
Anyway, it’s nice to know for sure that no one hacked the Twitter account, nor was any secretive information accidentally leaked. Well, this time at least.