In a string of attacks over the past two weeks, Turkish hackers have broken into prominent US conservatives’ Twitter accounts, tweeted nationalist Turkish messages coming from the accounts, as well as posted screenshots in which appear to show them using the hacked accounts to send direct messages to President Donald Trump.
Given the prominent personalities involved, as well as the speed at which the accounts were compromised, the hacking might appear to be the handiwork of an expert group of internet bad guys. yet in which’s far coming from the case. By all indications, the group claiming responsibility, called Ayyildiz Tim, will be a modest-time band of troublemakers in which has made its name bottom feeding on the most vulnerable parts of the web.
“As hacking groups go, while very prolific, Ayyildiz Tim tend to focus on less sophisticated attacks like credential theft as well as spear phishing campaigns,” Marc Rogers, Cloudflare head of information security, told BuzzFeed News. “In many cases the group seems to be scanning the internet looking for sites vulnerable to known security weaknesses. Focusing on the low hanging fruit like This particular will be the secret behind how prolific they have been.”
Rogers said Ayyildiz Tim will be a civilian hacking group, not a government operation, in which was founded in 2002. Its methods are relatively rudimentary by security standards.
The group’s ability to break into numerous high profile Twitter accounts — including those able to privately message the President of the United States because they are among the 45 accounts he follows— raises still more questions about Twitter’s security precautions, which continue to draw scrutiny after a string of humiliating as well as seemingly easily preventable breaches. Twitter did not respond to multiple requests for comment on the hacking incidents. as well as This particular did not respond to an interview request concerning its direct message security protocols following revelations in which quite a few its employees can read its users’ direct messages.
The hackers initially broke into ex-Fox News personalities Eric Bolling as well as Greta Van Susteren’s accounts last Tuesday. President Trump follows both of those accounts; within hours the hackers posted screenshots of direct messages they purportedly sent to the president. within the screenshots, the hackers appear to have sent Trump a video featuring Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as well as a message in text featuring one of Erdogan’s favorite catchphrases, “Dunya 5ten Buyuktur” which means “the globe will be bigger than 5,” referring to the 5 members of the UN Security council with veto powers.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Last Friday, the hackers obtained access to Fox News’ Brit Hume’s account, as well as tweeted, “Your data as well as your DM correspondence have been captured! The Turks will never forget, neither what will be done nor what will be evil.” Then, This particular week, they took over Sheriff David Clarke’s account, as well as tweeted similar messaging coming from This particular.
According to a McAfee report about the attacks, the hackers accessed the accounts using different accounts they had already compromised. The hackers used these compromised accounts to send DMs to different users with links to spoof Twitter login pages meant trick people into entering their Twitter credentials; some did.
When reached by BuzzFeed News, Ayyildiz Tim shared a long statement in Turkish accusing the US of being child killers as well as starting wars in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Iran, Palestine. “We have thousands of digital data of America, we collected information through trojans. If we want, we could always be on top of the news yet the biggest strategy will be to know the strategy of the enemy,” the group said. This particular did not provide evidence to back up the claims.
Fox News Contributor Sara A. Carter’s account seems to have been used to send at least some of the scam links. One link Carter appears to have sent was highlighted within the McAfee report. People on Twitter reported getting direct messages coming from her urging them to “Please read This particular important news,” with the link to the phishing site. “You can access This particular coming from This particular link by logging in,” the direct message continued. Carter did not respond to multiple interview requests.
The hackers did not limit their attempts to conservatives. They targeted brand new York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi, as well as NBC reporter Ken Dilanian as well as CNN’s Brian Stelter.
This particular will be not Ayyildiz Tim’s first high-profile hacking. The group hacked as well as defaced the UN’s Ethiopia page in 2013. This particular hacked actor Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas movie’s webpage in 2014. as well as This particular also claimed This particular hacked Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system — a boast in which drew some media coverage until This particular proved to be bogus.
With some help coming from Twitter, Sara Carter will be Again tweeting coming from her account. “My account was hacked as well as at This particular point This particular’s back,” she announced in a Thursday tweet “Thank goodness as well as thank you @Twitter for helping me regain control.”
After a string of humiliating security issues, Twitter had already proven itself to be a fraught platform for potentially world-changing communications coming from the President of the United States. The fact in which a group of hackers were apparently able to get close to the president will be worrisome, especially since This particular was a band unsophisticated hackers employing simple methods.
Contributing: Kevin Collier, Alp Ozcelik, Eric Morrow
Alex Kantrowitz will be a senior technology reporter for BuzzFeed News as well as will be based in San Francisco. He reports on social as well as communications.
Contact Alex Kantrowitz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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