Pro-Erdogan Turkish hackers have targeted Twitter accounts of media personalities associated with Fox News seemingly so that they can gain a direct line of communication to President Donald Trump.
A group calling themselves the “Turkish Cyber Army” successfully hacked Twitter accounts belonging to former Fox News hosts Greta Van Susteren and Eric Bolling Tuesday and current Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume Thursday. The hackers appeared to be targeting media personalities associated with Fox News and using their accounts to post Turkish military propaganda and pro-Erdogan messages, but other accounts which the hackers targeted indicate that the culprits were not simply targeting Fox News — they were going after any account they believed could give them a direct line to Trump.
Trump follows 45 Twitter accounts, including Van Susteren and Bolling, giving each of those accounts the ability to directly and privately message Trump over the social media platform. Tweets that have since been deleted from Van Susteren’s account show that the hackers used her account to send a direct message to Trump’s account, urging him to retweet a pro-Erdogan video.
The Turkish cyber army is now using its hacked accounts to send DMs to President Trump pic.twitter.com/fqqzl4CCFP
— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) January 17, 2018
The hackers similarly gained access to Bolling’s direct messages and posted images of them that included his phone number and email address, according to Global News.
“You are hacked by the Turkish cyber army Ayyildiz Tim! We got your DM correspondence! We will show you the power of the Turk!” read a post from the hackers on Bolling’s account.
The hackers did not limit their attacks to Twitter accounts associated with Fox News, as they hacked the account belonging to Trump National Golf Club Charlotte, which Trump also follows.
Update: Turkish cyber army appears to have also hacked Trump Hotel Charlotte pic.twitter.com/CvWWsAlKxw
— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) January 16, 2018
Trump does not follow Hume’s account, nor does he follow the account belonging to German newspaper Der Spiegel, which the “Turkish Cyber Army” hacked the Sunday before Van Susteren’s and Bolling’s accounts were hacked.
The attacks on Hume’s and Der Spiegel’s accounts may still have been part of the hackers’ strategy to gain a direct line of communication to Trump, in light of the way in which Klaus Brinkbäumer, president of Der Spiegel, alleges that the hackers gained access to the paper’s Twitter account.
Brinkbäumer said the hacking occurred shortly after he clicked a link from what he believed to be a trusted source in D.C. The hackers, therefore, may have hacked Hume in order to directly message other accounts, dupe the owners of those accounts into clicking a messaged link, and thereby gain control of accounts that do have the ability to directly message Trump.
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