Twitter accounts hacked, Twitter Counter steps forward as culprit

It's the second time in four months that Twitter Counter has allowed hackers to post messages to high-profile Twitter accounts

IDG

IDG

Twitter Counter, a third-party analytics service, appears once again to have provided a gateway for hackers to post messages to high-profile Twitter accounts.

An unlikely number of Twitter users suddenly learned to speak Turkish on Wednesday, posting an inflammatory message in the language replete with Nazi swastikas.

Among those posting the message were the Twitter accounts of Forbes magazine, the Atlanta Police Department, and Amnesty International, one of the few hacked accounts one might expect to speak Turkish.

Fears that these accounts had all been hacked were quickly allayed, when Twitter identified a third-party app as being to blame.

"We are aware of an issue affecting a small number of account holders this morning. Our teams worked at pace and took direct action. We quickly located the source which was limited to a third party app. We removed its permissions immediately. No additional accounts are impacted," a Twitter spokesman said via email.

It's usually hard to measure the impact of such hacktivist attacks, but counting the consequences may be easier this time around. Although Twitter did not name the app involved, the independent Twitter Counter service soon outed itself.

"We're aware that our service was hacked and have started an investigation into the matter. We've already taken measures to contain such abuse," the company tweeted.

Assuming that the abuse was going through its system, it said, "We’ve blocked all ability to post tweets and changed our Twitter app key."

A Twitter Counter spokesman referred questions to the company's CEO, Omer Ginor, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

It's barely four months since Twitter Counter was last hacked, an attack that resulted in postings to high-profile accounts including those of Playstation, Viacom, Xbox, Charlie Sheen and Lionel Messi, the company said at the time.

"The attackers used a mechanism to hack the cookies used by the website, so that they can, one by one, make the system believe they're logged in as a specific user and therefore be able to take the actions we allow users to take on our site, such as posting," Ginor said in his analysis of the incident that took place last November.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?