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Hackers hijack major Twitter accounts to send messages with a swastika and Nazi references

With the backdrop of a European election that can be seen as a litmus test for rising populism across the continent, hackers took over the Twitter accounts of major brands and institutions Friday, spreading a message of hate and Nazism.

The victims of the hack appear to be indiscriminate but all are well-known. Gizmodo reported Wednesday that a third-party app called Twitter Counter could have had a vulnerability that enabled the breach.

The hacked Twitter accounts sent out the same message, written in Turkish, containing a link to a YouTube video, along with the words “Nazi Germany” and “Nazi Holland” appearing right after a swastika.

The hack was widespread, affecting verified users from around the globe, including celebrities and soccer stars, Gizmodo reported.

The nod to Holland in the tweet cannot be coincidental. Voters in the Netherlands went to the polls Wednesday in an election “widely seen as an indicator of populist sentiment across Europe,” CNN reported.

The incumbent, conservative Prime Minister Mark Rutte, is facing a far-right challenger whose anti-immigration and anti-Islam outbursts have landed him in court, but also won him popularity in a country engulfed in an immigration debate. 

Taylor Link is a news writer at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @taylorlink_

Taylor Link.

Source: Salon: in-depth news, politics, business, technology & culture > Politics

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