Hundreds of social media managers were forced into crisis management Wednesday morning.
Stewart-Haas Racing, Kansas Speedway as well as many other well-known organizations and celebrities woke up Wednesday to find their Twitter accounts had been hacked. All of the accounts tweeted the same message, which was written in Turkish and featured swastikas, and referred to Germany and the Netherlands as Nazis.
Other victims of the hacking include Forbes and Justin Bieber — CNBC reports — as well as The NHL Network, Mayweather Promotions, the University of Texas baseball team and Soccer Canada, according to USA TODAY.
Believed to be in support of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the tweets mentioned April 16, which is the date Turkey will hold a referendum to give him more power, according to CNBC. Erdogan reportedly called the Dutch government “Nazi remnants and fascists” after a Turkish official wasn’t allowed to visit the country’s consulate in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Many have speculated the third-party analytics service Twitter Counter was breached by the hacker(s), allowing them to tweet from any account linked to the site. A Twitter Counter spokesperson told CNBC it’s not yet sure if that’s the case, but it is in the process of investigating.
“Before any definite findings, we’ve already taken measures to contain such abuse of our users’ accounts, assuming it is indeed done using our system — both blocking all ability to post tweets using our system and changing our Twitter app key,” the spokesperson said.
As of 11 a.m. ET, most of the affected organizations regained control of their accounts.
Thumbnail photo via Sam Sharpe/USA TODAY Sports Images