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: Online piracy thrives in Internet cloud: study (Update)

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

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