Last month, cyber attackers sent flashing and strobe videos to Twitter in a deliberate attempt to target people with epilepsy,media reported. It has now been reported that the target of the attack was the Epilepsy Foundation’s Twitter account. The attackers used the foundation’s tag to post videos and gif-action images, which are believed to have been done during National Epilepsy Awareness Month in November, during which most people with epilepsy will be following the account.
Allison Nichol, legal advocacy director for the Epilepsy Foundation, told the media that the foundation had confirmed that at least 30 different accounts were involved in the elaborate cyber campaign, but they could not say how many people were affected.
But the foundation says it has filed criminal charges with law enforcement and will work with them to ensure the attackers take full responsibility.
The impact is very serious.
People with photosensitive epilepsy are sensitive to specific visual patterns that flash or can trigger epilepsy, according to the Epilepsy Foundation.
“Although the number of people with photosensitive epilepsy is small, the effects can be quite severe. Jacqueline French, Chief Medical and Innovation Officer of the Epilepsy Foundation, said in a statement.
Nichola said the incident was particularly dangerous because the attackers used Twitter, a huge public gathering place. In its view, these attacks are no different from those of a person who enters a population of epilepsy with a strobe. “The fact that these attacks took place during the National Epilepsy Awareness Month only highlights the reprehensible nature of them. “
In response, Twitter said it had introduced tools to ban such abuse and was groping for other options.
Similar incidents occurred in 2016
In 2016, a Maryland man was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after deliberately sending a motion picture to a journalist with epilepsy, Kurt Eichenwald, on Twitter.
Eichenwald said the flickering message immediately triggered his seizure.
And after hearing the Epilepsy Foundation’s statement on Monday, Eichenwald again tweeted: “When will these idiots understand that we’re not going to let them try to kill or hurt us again?” “