Polar Seltzer, Other Brands Tweeted Swastikas After Hack
— Guglielmo (@bzref) March 15, 2017
Polar Seltzer, Worcester State University, AceTicket, and the Boston Landmarks Commission were among brands caught up in a widespread hack on Twitter early Wednesday morning, which forced those accounts to push disturbing messages that included a swastika and references to Nazis.
Hacked accounts tweeted variations of messages that included the Turkish phrases for Nazi Germany and Nazi Holland, as well as pro-Turkey imagery. Many included a YouTube video of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Other companies reportedly impacted include UNICEF, Amnesty International, Duke University, Nike Spain, Starbucks Argentina, Forbes, as well as celebrities and athletes, according to Gizmodo.
The breach has been attributed to a hack of Twitter Counter, a third-party app linked to users’ Twitter accounts. It announced it had been hacked in a string of tweets this morning.
In a statement, Twitter says it is aware of the problem and has blocked access to users’ accounts from the app:
We are aware of an issue affecting a number of account holders this morning. Our teams are working at pace and taking direct action on this issue. We quickly located the source which was limited to a third party app. We removed its permissions immediately. No additional accounts are impacted. Advice on keeping your account secure can be found here.
The spectacle comes the day of an election in the Netherlands with implications for international populism, and ahead of a contentious April 16 referendum on whether to expand the powers of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey and the Netherlands have feuded over Dutch refusal to let Turkish ministers enter the country to rally expats.