Between late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, a number of major Twitter accounts including the BBC and UNICEF featured pro-Turkish hashtags and pictures of swastikas.
So, what exactly happened?
Well, these sites were hacked through Twitter Counter, a third-party app. Twitter says it has revoked access to said app, which was apparently used to break into a number of accounts in order to broadcast pro-Turkish messages. It seems like the reason hackers overtook the Twitter profiles is because of the ongoing diplomatic feud between Turkey and two European nations, Germany and the Netherlands.
It's not clear how many accounts were hacked late Tuesday, but the targets appear to have been entirely random.
Twitter Counter, which is an Amsterdam-based third party Twitter analytics company, told The Associated Press it had started an investigation into the matter.
Media reports from Gizmodo, Engadget, and The Guardian say a slew of accounts as varied as Duke University, Amnesty International, and Starbucks Argentina have had their accounts compromised by hackers.
Neither Twitter nor Twitter Counter immediately provided a figure for the number of accounts affected. UNICEF, Duke, Amnesty, Starbucks, and others did not immediately return messages seeking comment, although they and other high-profile accounts appear to have since returned to normal.
The Twitter hijackings are the latest in a campaign of online vandalism that has followed from days of escalating tensions between Turkey and its European partners over Turkish politicians' hopes to campaign there ahead of their country's constitutional referendum next month. The dispute has devolved into angry nationalist chest-thumping, a display mirrored online by the defacement of a large number of random Dutch websites.
On Monday alone several hundred websites were hit at a single Dutch internet hosting provider, Versio, according to an employee who posted a message to the company's help forum.
The hackers who've claimed responsibility for the campaign have so far not returned messages from the AP.
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