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: Escaping email: Inspired vision or hallucination?

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

Teens love vacation selfies; adults, not so much

12 hours ago

(AP)—Jacquie Whitt's trip to the Galapagos with a group of teenagers was memorable not just for the scenery and wildlife, but also for the way the kids preserved their memories. It was, said Whitt, a "selfie ...

US spy agency patents car seat for kids

15 hours ago

Electronic eavesdropping is the National Security Agency's forte, but it seems it also has a special interest in children's car seats, Foreign Policy magazine reported Wednesday.

Country Web domains can't be seized

17 hours ago

The Internet's regulatory authority said Wednesday that country-specific Web domains cannot be seized in court proceedings, as it sought to quash an effort to recover assets in terrorism-related lawsuits.

User comments : 0