The third-party analytics service Twitter Counter seems to have again presented an avenue for hackers to take over some high-profile accounts on the micro-blogging platform. This time, Turkish hackers broke into hundreds of accounts and used them to post hate messages against the Germans and Dutch. They posted images of swastikas with references to “Nazi Germany” and “Nazi Holland.”
Turkey versus Germany and the Netherlands
The hacks appear to be part of an ongoing feud between Turkey and the Netherlands and Germany. The hate messages referred to them as “a small Ottoman slap” as they blasted the two countries in the Turkish language. The tweets also included messages that support Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and some of the account profiles also had their profile images changed to the Turkish flag or Ottoman Empire coat of arms.
All of them proclaimed, “#NaziGermany #NaziNetherlands, a little #OTTOMAN SLAP for you, see you on #April16th,” with a swastika image leading the tirade and a couple of hand emoji inserted in the text.
Twitter counter believed to have been used
Even high-profile names such as BBC America, the Atlanta Police Department, Duke University, Reuters America, Forbes, Amnesty International and even the European Parliament and many others found their Twitter accounts hijacked by the Turkish hackers.
It’s believed that Twitter Counter was used to hack into the accounts, and if this is the case, it would be the second time in just four months that hackers exploited it to hijack accounts, according to PC World. The company tweeted that it’s aware of the hacks and currently investigating to find out what happened. It also said that it doesn’t store its users’ Twitter account credentials such as passwords or credit card details. Twitter Counter informed users that it has now cut off tweet posting through its system and changed its Twitter app key.
Twitter itself also acknowledged that there was a problem, although it didn’t specifically state that it was hacking, and confirmed that the hackers were able to get into the accounts using an unnamed third-party app. The micro-blogging platform tweeted that the issue has been resolved.
Feud between Turkey and the Netherlands and Germany simmers
Tensions between Turkey and Germany and the Netherlands have been escalating over the last couple of weeks. The feud relates to the two European countries’ lack of protection for Turkish officials visiting them.
The date referenced in the tweets is the day Turkey is scheduled to hold a referendum giving Erdogan more powers. Earlier this month, Germany told two Turkish ministers that it couldn’t protect them at a campaign event in Germany for Erdogan. In response, he accused the country of “Nazi practices.”
Then officials in the Netherlands refused to let the Turkish foreign minister land there for a pro-Erdogan rally over the weekend and escorted the Turkish family minister out of the country to keep her from campaigning. Erdogan called the Dutch officials “Nazi remnants” in response and said the nation would “pay the price” for the way it treated his country’s officials.
The tweets also link to a video that supports Turkey‘s president in which he states, “If we’re going to die, let’s die like men.”