Several Famous Twitter Accounts Post Swastikas, Pro-Turkey Propaganda After Getting Hacked

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Eric Lieberman Managing Editor
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Twitter says it is blocking access to “a third-party app” because some unknown cybercriminal reportedly used it to hack several famous accounts and subsequently post swastikas and pro-Turkish propaganda.

A number of highly followed Twitter accounts — including media outlet Forbes, Duke University and the Atlanta Police Department — posted tweets in Turkish, including words like “Nazi Germany” and “Nazi Holland,” according to Gizmodo and several other sites.

The hackers also attach a YouTube video that appears to support Turkey Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and is accredited to an account called “sebomubu.” Other organizations that were reportedly hacked were UNICEF, Starbucks Argentina, and Amnesty International.

The vulnerability that was exploited apparently stems from “Twitter Counter,” an Amsterdam-based social media analytics company.

“We are aware of an issue affecting a number of account holders this morning. Our teams are working at pace and taking direct action on this issue. We quickly located the source which was limited to a third party app. We removed its permissions immediately,” a spokesperson for Twitter told The Verge. “No additional accounts are impacted.”

Twitter Counter also says its investigating the situation and that people’s personal information is likely not in danger of theft.

Due to the content of the posts, the hacker was probably trying to bring attention to the current divide between Turkey and its European partners.

Turkish ministers were banned from speaking Saturday at a rally in Rotterdam, Netherlands, after they were scheduled to voice their support of a referendum that would expand Erdogan’s powers in Turkey.

The Turkish leader called the Netherlands a “Nazi remnant” for revoking a foreign minister’s flight permit, and police were forced to use water cannons to stave off Turkish protesters outside the consulate in Rotterdam.

Netherlands Populist candidate Geert Wilders, who is best known for his criticism of Islam, dropped in the latest polls following the diplomatic crisis between his own home country and Turkey.

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