March 15, 2017
A large number of Twitter users awoke to disturbing tweets on their accounts this morning.
Although similar to last November’s security breach, this particular hack has a slightly different message. Written in Turkish the hacks seem to be aimed at Holland with #NaziHollanda and #Nazialmanya hashtags.
A number of prominent accounts were hacked, including Forbes, BBC North America, Amnesty International, the European Parliament and Justin Bieber. High profile accounts were not the only targets either. The accounts of average users were also taken over.
The tweets were all pretty much the same: messages of support for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is seeking more power to rule the country. The tweets specifically reference April 16, the date that Turkey will hold a referendum in a bid to give more power to the Erdoğan.
Twitter placed the blame for the vulnerability squarely on the shoulders of third-party service Twitter Counter, although it did not give the service’s name. Twitter Counter’s tweets made it clear which service Twitter was referring to, however.
“We are aware of an issue affecting a small number of account holders this morning. Our teams worked at pace and took direct action,” a Twitter spokesman said in a statement. “We quickly located the source which was limited to a third party app. We removed its permissions immediately. No additional accounts are impacted.”
Twitter Counter, in a tweet, said it is aware its service had been hacked, adding that it has started an investigation into the matter and has “taken measures to contain such abuse.”
“Assuming this abuse is indeed done using our system, we’ve blocked all ability to post tweets and changed our Twitter app key,” Twitter Counter tweeted. “One thing is important to note — we do not store users’ Twitter account credentials (passwords) nor credit card information.”
“The Twitter Counter application is blocked on Twitter. If this activity continues, then we strongly believe it’s not just through us,” Twitter Counter added.
The hacking of tweets was ended in the early morning hours.
Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.