Published: Thu, March 16, 2017
Research | By Francis Brooks

Twitter Accounts Hacked With Pro-Turkey Messages

Twitter Accounts Hacked With Pro-Turkey Messages

Many of the Tweets that were sent out in the Twitter hack also included hashtags labeling Germany and the Netherlands as Nazis.

The cyberattack comes after Turkish politicians were last week banned by The Netherlands and several German towns from holding rallies to woo expatriate support for an April 16 constitutional referendum on boosting Erdogan's powers.

A slew of high-profile Twitter accounts, including Amnesty International, BBC News North America and the European Parliament were hijacked by hackers early Wednesday.

Though this may serve as a timely reminder about being careful about which third-party services can access your Twitter account, it's worth stressing here that today's attacks isn't the result of users' own personal bad security practices.

Twitter Counter also confirmed that its app had been blocked by Twitter itself, saying: "If this activity continues, then we strongly believe it's not just through us".

Twitter Counter CEO Omer Gidor said in an email that the company was investigating the matter. We've already taken measures to contain such abuse of our users' accounts.

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Amnesty International, the Atlanta Police Department and Forbes were among the accounts compromised Wednesday morning with the message: "卐 #NaziGermany_#NaziNetherlands, a little_#OTTOMAN SLAP for you, see you on #April16th".

The incident is a reminder that despite all of the options for securing a Twitter account, apps and services that connect to the social network offer a route for hackers to compromise users. "Our teams are working at pace and taking direct action on this issue", he said.

Twitter Counter is one of a number of companies that plug into Twitter to provide marketing and analytics tools for people and businesses, and its clients include companies such as Time, Netflix, and YouTube.

Twitter, meanwhile, said it removed the permissions related to the third party app that caused the problem.

The Counter made it clear that they do not store users' account details or passwords.

The source of the hack appears to be from pro-Erdogan, anti-Netherlands activists based on the content of the tweets posted. It remains unclear whether other third-party apps were similarly hacked, although Twitter said "no additional accounts are affected".

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