Official Twitter accounts belonging to Amnesty International, Forbes and other prominent organizations, not to mention many regular users, were accessed to post swastikas and other Nazi-related messages in a move thought to be related to Turkey’s diplomatic spat with the Netherlands and Germany, the Guardian reported. The accounts themselves were not hacked. Instead, the attackers gained access to Twitter Counter’s service, which was then used to send the tweets.
The messages have since been deleted, but Amnesty was among those to confirm that it had been compromised.
Twitter Counter, which is owned by the same parent company as tech blog The Next Web*, confirmed the issue. It said that it had issued a block on the ability to post tweets from its service to nullify the threat.
“One thing is important to note — we do not store users’ Twitter account credentials (passwords) nor credit card information,” Twitter Counter CEO Omer Ginor added.
In addition to that, Twitter confirmed that it had taken action on its side.
“We identified an issue affecting a small number of users. Source was a 3rd party app and it has been resolved. No action needed by users,” the company said in a statement.
The incident is a reminder that despite all of the options for securing a Twitter account, apps and services that connect to the social network offer a route for hackers to compromise users. That was the case here. If you’re a Twitter user who connected many services to your account, then it may be worth reviewing or disconnecting them via this setting here to avoid potential issues in the future.
*Disclaimer: The author of this post was previously employed by The Next Web