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Hackers Take Control of Twitter to Post Controversial Messages


Hand holding a smartphone with Twitter

It seems like Twitter Counter, which is a third-party service providing analytics, failed once again to protect the Twitter platform from hackers. On Wednesday, a number of users posted a highly controversial message in the Turkish language. Except that they were not the ones who actually wrote those messages. Hackers managed to get into some high-profile Twitter accounts and posted the message which has to do with the recent Turkey-Netherlands conflict. Some people noticed something strange in the fact that the accounts of Forbes magazine, the Atlanta Police Department, UNICEF or Amnesty International suddenly started posting in Turkish.

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Hackers did it

A spokesman from the company quickly shed some light on what actually happened there. According to them, the issue affected a small number of accounts because a third-party app, the Twitter Counter, failed to protect the platform. Instead, it provided a gate for hackers to play around. Fortunately, they corrected the problem quickly and those messages disappeared from the platform. It is interesting to note that Twitter did not specifically name the third-party app involved. However, shortly after, the Counter took the blame and admitted to unintentionally allowing hackers to intervene and hijack some accounts. The service reportedly started an investigation into the matter and will do everything they can to avoid any such issues, in the future. Twitter Counter’s CEO, Omer Ginor, did not immediately respond to any questions.

Twitter in trouble again?

Interestingly enough, just four months ago, Twitter Counter fell victim to hackers once again. That attack was similar but on a bigger scale. It targeted numerous high-profile Twitter accounts. Soon, bizarre messages appeared on the pages of celebrities like actor Charlie Sheen or footballer Lionel Messi. The hack also affected the accounts of Xbox or PlayStation. Now, it seems like it happened again and experts started wondering whether or not Twitter Counter is doing its job properly.

Back in November, at the time of the first hack, Omer Ginor stated that the hackers actually managed to hack the cookies which the website uses. By doing this, they offered the impression that they were certain users. So, they were able to do specific things on Twitter. How can you really affect a social media platform? By posting strange messages. This is what they did. However, people are now wondering, if Omer managed to discover how the hackers did it the first time, why did this happen a second time? Were those hackers smarter and used a different system to hack into Twitter?

All in all, it seems like this recent Twitter hack is the latest in a series of online vandalisms. Those followed the open diplomatic conflict between Turkey, the Netherlands and now, Germany. It all started because of the wish of some Turkish politicians to campaign in those two European countries. The campaign’s aim is to draw votes in favor of a referendum. If it passes, it will enlarge Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s powers. A number of websites from a Dutch internet hosting provider were also hit by hackers. A group took responsibility for the attacks but so far, they refused to comment on their motive.

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