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Agence France-Press’s @AFPPHOTO account was hacked Tuesday. “Any documents or images posted on this account after 17:45 [Central European Time] are NOT from AFP.” The account was “posting pro-Syrian government and anti-Obama tweets and images,” Nathan Ingraham writes in The Verge. The account is now suspended.
AFP joins inglorious company with this hacking. Burger King and Jeep’s Twitter accounts were hacked in the last few weeks, and “Other prominent accounts have fallen victim to hacking, including those for NBC News, USA Today, Donald J. Trump, the Westboro Baptist Church and even the “hacktivist” group Anonymous,” Tanzina Vega and Nicole Perlroth wrote in The New York Times Monday.
“Twitter and other social media accounts are like catnip for script kiddies, hacktivists and serious cybercriminals alike,” said Mark Risher, chief executive at Impermium, a Silicon Valley start-up that aims to clean up social networks. “Because of their deliberately easy access and liberal content policies, accounts on these networks prove irresistibly tempting.”
The hacking comes as Twitter attempts to “woo brands and advertising money to its platform,” Julianne Pepitone wrote last week.
“It’s one thing when Twitter is free for brands,” said brand strategist Adam Hanft. “It’s another when there’s an advertising contract in place, and hacking can disrupt the service a brand has paid for. There’s an implicit agreement that Twitter will serve its customers and keep them protected.”
After the Burger King incident, Twitter posted some tips for keeping your account safe.