British politicians fall victim to Twitter scam

February 26, 2010 By RAPHAEL G. SATTER , Associated Press Writer

(AP) -- British politicians were among those caught up Friday in the latest Twitter-based scam which hijacks users' accounts to send out sexually explicit messages to friends and followers.

The micro-blogging Web site has seen hit by a wave of so-called "phishing scams," which lure users to a bogus Web site where they're enticed to part with their passwords. The compromised accounts are then used to distribute rogue messages to other users.

Those tracking the Twitter account of Ed Miliband, the British energy minister, were surprised by a message carrying an unusually direct reference to the politician's sex life.

"Oh dear it seems like I've fallen victim to twitter's latest 'phishing' scam," Miliband said in a message posted shortly afterward.

He wasn't alone.

On Thursday, House of Commons leader Harriet Harman told lawmakers her account had sent a bogus message to opposition lawmaker Alan Duncan.

She didn't say exactly what the content of the message was, but she left British lawmakers wondering when she told them: "I wouldn't ever send a like that."

Other prominent politicians and journalists were among those who received the rogue messages.

Even tech-savvy users have been hit.

Intel UK, the British arm of the , apologized to its followers Thursday after saying its account had been hacked.

So too was the account of prominent tech blogger Cory Doctorow, who blamed the small screen on his phone for falling victim to the scam.

Explore further: Facebook users hooked in new 'phishing' scam

More information:


Related Stories

Twitter dabbling with verifying identities

June 13, 2009

Authenticity badges were popping up at Twitter on Friday as the popular micro-blogging service tested a way to verify that people tweeting are who they claim to be.

Dalai Lama to 'tweet' on Tibet

February 23, 2010

The Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has joined micro-blogging service Twitter, attracting over 55,000 followers in just two days.

Recommended for you

On soft ground? Tread lightly to stay fast

October 8, 2015

These findings, reported today, Friday 9th October, in the journal Bioinspiration & Biomechanics, offer a new insight into how animals respond to different terrain, and how robots can learn from them.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.