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Widespread Hack Hijacks Forbes, Justin Bieber and Other Major Twitter Accounts

Technology By
ISTANBUL, Turkey: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech in Istanbul on 12 October 2005 during the visit of German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. Their talks were expected to focus on bilateral issues but also on the start of Turkey's membership negotiations with the European Union. AFP PHOTO DDP/MARCUS BRANDT (Photo credit should read MARCUS BRANDT/AFP/Getty Images)
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan  (MARCUS BRANDT/AFP/Getty Images)


Many popular Twitter accounts were hijacked early Wednesday morning, sharing messages supporting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan— with several containing swastikas and Nazi hashtags.

Thousands of accounts could be affected, The Verge reports.

Popular accounts were affected by the hacks, including Justin Bieber, Forbes, BBC North America, Amnesty International, and Unicef USA, according to CNBC. The hacked accounts shared messages in Turkish—like “Nazi Germany, Nazi Holland”—echoing recent comments from the Turkish President, BBC reports.

The Twitter hacks comes amid a row between Turkey and the two European countries. The spat began after both countries denied Turkey’s Foreign Minister entry to attend pro-Erdogan rallies ahead of a Turkish referendum in next month—which some messages acknowledged, saying “see you April 16.” Turkey suspended high-level diplomatic relations with the Netherlands Tuesday.

Twitter has identified and removed the source of the attack, which appears to target accounts using a Netherlands-based analytics app called Twitter Counter, The Verge reports. Many of the accounts affected by the hacks have shared tweets apologizing for the disruption and since resumed their normal messages.