Could Donald Trump’s Twitter Feed Be Weaponized?

Once I’m asked concerning the “artificially generated stampede” or “dominipede” (a number of, simultaneous stampedes doubtless affecting the NFL 1 o’clock slate), I typically get this look of skepticism and consternation.

“Well, assuming it’s a cellular-driven panic in the stadium, how would they get everyone’s cell phone number?”

This specific query is frustrating as a result of it demonstrates the linear strategy most individuals have relating to ideas which require a certain diploma of cognitive speculation.  Unfortunately, most individuals have problem comprehending hypothetical situations in the realm of cyber-security.

Fact be informed, there are all types of the way to immediately purchase an inventory of cell numbers.

The concerted hack of a wireless service provider, the hijacking of an Amber, NWS (National Weather Service) or Presidential Terror Alert, intentional misuse of a reverse 911 platform or opt-in notification system, acquisition of a season ticket holder record at the side of a bulk messaging service, Stingray know-how (a small light-weight gadget that features as a phony cell tower) in tandem with a real-time mass notification system (texts, robocalls, phishing scams, and so forth.).  Like I stated, these are simply a number of the extra obvious direct pathways.  I often seek advice from them as “lights out” situations.

However there are far easier strategies.  Many of those would bypass the necessity for any telephone numbers.  As an alternative, they’d utilize the internet and try and virally spread disinformation by way of social media platforms.  This may require little technical experience.  And yes, it immediately applies to our President Elect’s penchant for disseminating propaganda by way of twitter.

Since becoming a member of in 2009, Donald Trump has tweeted over 34,000 occasions.  This demonstrates an awesome proclivity for social media.  Whether it’s fueled by ego or narcissism is wholly irrelevant.  It seems that Trump’s notorious twitter rants are right here to stay.

And with 17+ million followers and rising, that’s a reasonably large viewers.  Nearly all of his fan base has pledged blind allegiance and seem prepared to obediently comply together with his rhetoric, with out a lot effort to interact in important considering.  Now might this be a recipe for disaster?

What may occur if… in the course of the NFL season on any given Sunday afternoon, Trump’s twitter feed was “hacked?”  What if it relayed the next tweet?

Terrorism Alert!  That is NOT a check.
Emergency evacuations underway in any respect NFL stadiums.

How may most of the people react when faced with this unique tidbit of data?  Would anyone be inclined to share or hit a retweet button (as most people usually know someone who repeatedly attends NFL video games).

Not convinced?  How about considered one of Trump’s patented tirades… or tweetstorms?

For the sake of authenticity, I’ll attempt to recreate his stylistically fragmented script, typically noted for incorrect punctuation and capitalization, poor grammar, occasional misspellings and alarmist rhetoric.  140 characters won’t look like rather a lot to work with, however the condensed phrasing might have “unpresidented” implications.  For instance…

Emergency FAA report: 5-10 planes hijacked.
NFL stadiums might be focused.
Get those fans outta there!  NOW!!!

Just briefed. That is real-world.  Not a drill.
All NFL stadiums have been ordered to evacuate.
Exit instantly!  DO NOT PANIC!

FBI/DHS ALERT:  Imminent terrorist menace.
Eastcoast & Midwest soccer stadiums.
Remain calm.  Exit all venues utterly.

Roughly 60 seconds move.

Presidential Terror Alert:
America is officially at DEFCON 1.

Maximum degree of readiness.
Stand by for additional info and take shelter instructions.

Now let me ask a rhetorical question.  Nowadays, how lengthy do you assume it will take for the most important cable information retailers (CNN, MSNBC, FOX) to select up a narrative like this?  How long until they interact their BREAKING NEWS alerts on stay television?  What concerning the lots of of native news channels and hundreds of reporters?  Their social media platforms?  Print media and radio?  What about… uh, everyone?  It’s referred to as an “info-bomb” but I favor the time period “viral blitzkrieg” as the knowledge can be designed to develop in an exponentially, decentralized style.

All you’d actually need are a couple of key buzzwords that evoke worry and a way of urgency (bomb, lively shooter, IED, drone, and so on.).  Please notice how this specific terminology wasn’t even mandatory.  I gained’t even hassle relating the prospect of pictures, GIFs, movies, hyperlinks, and so forth.

I’m afraid I’ve obtained some dangerous information.  There isn’t a sensible, viable contingency plan for something of this nature.  You can’t mitigate a real-world panic and an ensuing stampede.  The one answer lies with enhancing situational awareness and explicitly informing those that official stadium evacuation orders would NEVER be delivered by way of their cell telephones.  Because the right protocol dictates using the general public handle system and the video screens.  NOT CELL PHONES.  Trust me, if it’s coming out of your telephone, it’s virtually definitely a malicious hoax.  The only different attainable rationalization can be that somebody is making an attempt to evacuate a stadium(s) solely for their own private amusement.  And that wouldn’t be good either.

Time to interject just a little techno-sarcasm.  Did you know there has NEVER been a excessive profile social media hack?

No celebrities, no politicians, no universities, no shops, no hospitals or pharmaceutical corporations, no airways, no banks, no government businesses or departments.  Everybody and the whole lot is now invincible.  Particularly, the NFL is unexploitable and untouchable.  In case you didn’t discover, the sarcasm has continued unabated.

Nicely, no less than the tech business is protected.  Apart from a couple of insignificant nobodies like Sundar Pichai (CEO of Google) and Mark Zuckerburg (CEO of Facebook).  And oh yeah, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey lately had his account compromised and suspended resulting from an “internal mistake.”  Like I used to be saying, just an assortment of irrelevant nobodies.

Now let me pose a query.  From a hacker’s perspective, who and what can be probably the most prized goal worldwide?  If your reply is Donald Trump and his twitter account… nicely, I feel you simply hit the nail on the top.


Don’t fear a lot.  That significantly occurred back in 2013.

But only for the sake of satan’s advocate, let’s assume the aforementioned Trump twitter hack truly played itself out.  And everybody precisely deciphered it was a hoax and no one panicked.  Okay, properly I assume congratulations can be so as.  Kudos to the collective American shopper and their sharp instincts.

Personally talking, I feel that’s asking a bit much.

The better question is that this: Wouldn’t individuals demand one thing be executed in its aftermath?  You already know… since someone was making an attempt to indiscriminately kill about one thousand innocent civilians by weaponizing a collection of human stampedes?  Based mostly on prior stadium stampede models overseas, that’s roughly 100 fatalities per stadium.  Oh yeah, and injuries someplace within the realm of 5,000 – 10,000.  In any case, we’re talking about 10+ stadium stampedes.

Wouldn’t the subsequent logical step contain telling individuals the TRUTH about outdated emergency venue evac protocol?  On the very least, that cell phones are NOT part of the preliminary equation.  Is that basically asking too much?  You’d assume there can be an ethical and legal obligation to disclose generic public security information comparable to this.  But you’d be incorrect.  It’s all about plausible deniability, hypothetical litigation and the lose-lose proposition.  Nothing but draw back.

So let’s take a gander on the upcoming NFL early recreation schedule.  If someone really wished to irreparably pulverize the Nationwide Football League and synthesize the subsequent 9/11, two specific days would tend to stand out.

Eight simultaneous video games on Saturday, December 24, 2016… the day before Christmas.
Buffalo, New Orleans, Foxborough, Jacksonville, Inexperienced Bay, Cleveland, Chicago and Charlotte.

Everybody’s residence for the vacations, gathered across the widescreen in the living room.  This is able to not make for an particularly merry Christmas.

But far worse can be New Years Day… January 1, 2017

A season excessive 12, principally meaningless video games set to occupy the 1 o’clock slate.
Atlanta, Cincinnati, Landover, Nashville, Tampa, Detroit, Indianapolis, Miami, Minneapolis, East Rutherford, Philadelphia and my hometown of Pittsburgh.

Obviously, this may not be a celebratory approach to “kickoff” the new yr.

What about this yr’s Tremendous Bowl in Houston, Texas?

Just briefed by Homeland Security.  Attainable hijacking out of ELP (El Paso Worldwide Airport).  Tremendous Bowl at NRG Stadium might be targeted!  Get these fans outta there NOW!!!

Aircraft is a 747 heading from El Paso to New Orleans.  FAA has lost all contact.  Their transponder has been turned off.  Not good.

In fact the NFL and its security equipment have it all found out.  In any case, they’re impervious to controversies and scandals.  As a result of once you consider Roger Goodell and the cadre of multi-billionaire house owners, there’s one phrase that by no means comes to mind — hubris.

Do you recall the aforementioned sarcasm?  Properly, I simply took it one step additional with a touch of derision, a round of ridicule and a mountain of mockery.

Wouldn’t it’s ironic, if following a yr of divisive rhetoric about Hillary Clinton’s hacked emails, Donald Trump discovered himself victimized by an analogous fate?  Except vastly worse.  What if pre-teen son Barron grabbed his father’s cellular phone off the table and determined to play a silly prank?  Makes you marvel who has a better grasp of wireless know-how… the 10 yr previous or the 70 yr previous.  In fact, a mischievous billionaire child would by no means seek to emulate pricey previous dad’s impetuous conduct.

Before you dismiss these considerations, it could be a good suggestion to consider the proliferation and ramifications of “fake news” as nicely.  Is this specific social media phenomenon escalating or subsiding?   Will there ever be any discernible real-time consequences?

“It’s now clear that so-called ‘fake news’ can have real-world consequences.  This isn’t about politics or partisanship.  Lives are at risk.  Lives of ordinary people just trying to go about their days to do their jobs, contribute to their communities.  It’s a danger that must be addressed, and addressed quickly.” — Hillary Clinton (in a December eight, 2016 speech honoring the retirement of Senator Harry Reid)

Ya wanna know something?  Upon reflection, I wouldn’t fear an excessive amount of.  I’m positive the FCC, DHS, and the FBI have it all coated.  Identical to the NFL, NCAA, MLB, NBA and the NHL.  Ya wanna know one thing else?  On the night time of the 2016 presidential election, just about everyone obtained it incorrect.  The media, the political pundits and the polls. Improper, fallacious and mistaken.

Hmmm, I’m wondering if one thing like that would ever happen once more.  I’m wondering if an isolated single act of cyber-terrorism will manifest itself as an epic, “black swan” event.

Could a “dominipede” be the subsequent 9/11?

Fb permanently blocked my “sharing” privileges long ago.  But be happy to share the hyperlink to this text on any social media platform relating to Donald Trump or the NFL.