Political tensions between Turkey and the Netherlands spilled over onto Twitter earlier today as a number of high-profile accounts were hacked, apparently through the third-party app Twitter Counter. During the attack, tweets featuring swastikas and Naxi references were posted to Twitter accounts for the BBC North America, Justin Bieber, the World Meteorological Organization and U.K. computer security expert Graham Cluley, among others.
After the hack, the Twitter Support account posted an update saying it had identified and resolved an issue “affecting a small number of users,” adding that those affected account holders didn’t need to take any further action.
The hacking incident appears related to recent hostilities that flared up over the weekend after Dutch officials barred two Turkish ministers from political campaigning in the Netherlands. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan fired back by accusing the Dutch of “Nazi tactics” and criticizing the country for not doing enough to prevent a 1995 massacre in the Bosnian city of Srebrenica.
Measures To ‘Contain Abuse’
Early this morning, a number of Twitter accounts were hijacked long enough for the unidentified hackers to tweet messages in Turkish that included images of swastikas, a symbol used by Adolf Hitler’s regime, and hashtag references to “Nazi Germany” and “Nazi Holland.”
Cybersecurity expert Graham Cluley said he learned his Twitter account had been hacked upon arriving in Dubai after a flight from Kuwait City. When he turned on his phone, the first message he saw was from a British reporter seeking comment about the hacking.
In a blog post titled, “Sorry for the Nazi spam from my Twitter account,” Cluley said his first thought was, “Uhh … what?” He added, “My heart sank when I checked my Twitter timeline, as kindly preserved by the media.”
Cluley said he was relieved to learn that the hack was through…