Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s Twitter account was apparently hacked, but his team quickly regained control and deleted the hacker’s tweets.
A hacker allegedly gained control of the @jeremycorbyn account shortly after 9pm on 10 January 2016, but managed to publish only four foul-mouthed posts, according to the BBC.
One mocked prime minister David Cameron, stating: “Davey Cameron is a pie”, while another poked fun at Corbyn’s opposition to the Trident nuclear missile programme.
The tweets, which were sent out to 387,000 followers, were deleted in a matter of minutes.
The incident once again illustrates how vulnerable social media accounts are to hijacking, but it appears the Labour Party media team was well prepared and responded quickly.
In recent years, the social media accounts of politicians, including US president Barack Obama, have been targeted increasingly by so-called hacktivists who use hacking to break into computer systems for politically motivated purposes.
The Labour party is likely to have improved its incident response processes after the press team account was hacked in June 2014.
A storm of puns was unleashed on twitter after the Labour press team appeared to tweet: “Everybody should have his own owl.”
Prominent commercial brands are also routinely targeted by hacktivists. In recent years, targets have included Microsoft, Burger King, PayPal UK, FoxNews and the Financial Times.
In January 2015, a group claiming to back Islamic State (IS) hacked the US Central Command’s Twitter and YouTube accounts.
Advice on account security
Security experts recommend using a strong password policy to prevent attackers from guessing or using password guessing tools to take control of accounts. Second, they recommend using encrypted connections to social media accounts to prevent attackers from intercepting passwords. Third, organisations are advised to use Twitter and Facebook security tools to scan and warn of malicious links and delete malicious code.
Social media account holders should also consider using a link expander utility such as LongURL to reveal the real destination of the link, along with additional information about the content of the destination link.
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