A huge Twitter hack left thousands of Twitter accounts including Forbes, Amnesty International and Unicef plastered with Nazi symbolism this morning, in an attack thought to be targeted at the Netherlands on polling day.
The hack changed accounts' header photo to the Turkish flag, a swastika and a message written in Turkish: “#NaziGermany #NaziNetherlands, a little #OTTOMAN SLAP for you, see you on #April16th.”
Dutch voters go to the polls today. Tomorrow, Turkey is holding a referendum to decide whether to grant president Tayyip Erdŏgan stronger powers. A pro-Erdŏgan video was also attached to the tweets.
Tensions between Germany, Holland and Turkey have been growing since an incident last week when the Netherlands barred Turkey’s foreign minister’s plane from landing for a campaign referendum rally. In response to this, Erdŏgan claimed the Dutch government was behaving like Nazis.
According to Twitter, all the hacked accounts were compromised through their use of a third-party analytics service, Twitter Counter.
Twitter Counter was also hacked last November, which affected Playstation, Xbox and the New Yorker. The hacked accounts tweeted spam advertisements.
“We are aware of the situation and have started an investigation. Before any definite findings, we’ve already taken measures to contain such abuse of our users’ accounts, assuming it is indeed done using our system – both blocking all ability to post tweets using our system and changing our Twitter app key,” said Omer Ginor, chief executive of Twitter Counter today.
“We do not store users’ Twitter passwords nor credit card information.”
In a statement, a Twitter spokesperson said: “We are aware of an issue affecting a number of account holders this morning. We quickly located the source which was limited to a third party app. We removed its permissions immediately.”
Twitter users are encouraged to check which services they’ve granted permissions to and removing the applications they don’t need to lower their vulnerability to hacks.