British politicians fall victim to Twitter scam

Feb 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: Britain threatens Internet 'trolls' with two years in jail

More information: http://twitter.com/EdMilibandMP

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Dalai Lama to 'tweet' on Tibet

Feb 23, 2010

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

Twitter dabbling with verifying identities

Jun 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.

Recommended for you

Facebook unfriends federal drug agency

Oct 17, 2014

(AP)—Facebook wants assurances from the Drug Enforcement Administration that it's not operating any more fake profile pages as part of ongoing investigations.

Obama unveils new measures to stem identity theft

Oct 17, 2014

US President Barack Obama on Friday ordered "pin and chip" security measures for government payment systems, aiming to stem the proliferation of credit card fraud and identity theft.

User comments : 0