Related Twitter accounts hijacked in Turkish with swastikas posted

Posted March 16, 2017

The tweets, written in Turkish, appeared to show a Nazi swastika and included the hashtags #Nazialmanya and #Nazihollanda - translating to "Nazi Germany" and "Nazi Holland".

The tweets came at a time of heightened tension between Turkey and the Dutch government, after the Netherlands prevented two Turkish ministers from appealing to expatriates in the lead-up to a referendum that promises to give president Recep Erdogan greater powers.

Many have speculated the third-party analytics service Twitter Counter, was breached by the hacker (s), allowing them to tweet from any account linked to the site.

The Twitter profiles of several sports-related accounts around the world were compromised as part of an apparent pro-Turkish hijacking operation early Wednesday morning.

"Assuming this abuse is indeed done using our system, we've blocked all ability to post tweets and changed our Twitter app key", said Twitter Counter. They include the UK Department of Health and BBC North America, as well as the official account of Marcelo Claure, CEO of telecoms firm Sprint Corp.

Twitter Counter's Chief Executive Officer Omer Ginor said that the company is now investigating the incident but provided no further details on the matter.

Luckily, the Twitter accounts weren't fully compromised.

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Hackers also posted a link to a video of Erdogan.

"Our teams worked at pace and took direct action", a Twitter spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

"We're aware that our service was hacked and have started an investigation into the matter".

Go to the "Settings and Privacy" menu by opening Twitter in your browser and clicking your user icon in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.

The mass hijack appears to have been the result of a weakness in a third-party social media management program, Twitter Counter, which is based out of Amsterdam.

President Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly made accusations of European "Nazism" and accused Germany of hiding terrorists after they had moved to support the Dutch in a row over Turkish political campaigning overseas. It said that no additional accounts will be impacted.

The account added: "One thing is important to note - we do not store users' Twitter account credentials (passwords) nor credit card information".