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Thousands of Twitter accounts hacked with Turkish-language tweets with Nazi Swastikas

The same Turkish-language tweets with a Nazi swastika followed by the hashtags #Nazialmanya and #Nazihollanda have been posted by the hijacked accounts

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The Twitter logo appears on a phone post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Oct. 27, 2016. VOA
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London, March 15, 2017: Thousands of Twitter accounts, including high-profile ones belonging to Forbes, Amnesty International and the BBCs North American service, were compromised on Wednesday, resulting in them tweeting propaganda related to Turkeys escalating diplomatic conflict with Germany and the Netherlands.

The hijacked accounts have all posted the same Turkish-language tweets with a Nazi swastika followed by the hashtags #Nazialmanya and #Nazihollanda (#NaziGermany and #NaziHolland).
The text after the hashtags reads: “This gives you a little #OttomanSlap,” and makes reference to April 16th — the day Turkey will hold a referendum on constitutional changes that would consolidate President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s power and potentially allow him to remain in office through 2029.

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The tweets also include a link to a pro-Erdogan video on YouTube.

The attackers also changed profile pictures and header images for some targets, changing the main image to a Turkish flag and the profile picture to a Turkish-style coat of arms, reported the Guardian.

Several users noted that all hijacked tweets appear to have been linked to Twitter Counter, a Netherlands-based analytics application.

Twitter Counter was previously targeted in a November 2016 attack that caused some high-profile accounts to spread spam. At the time, the company said it has over 2 million users.

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The attack comes amid heightened tensions between Turkeyand the Netherlands, after the Dutch government barred two Turkish ministers from speaking to expatriates in the Netherlandsahead of the referendum.

In response, Erdogan accused the Dutch government of acting like “Nazi remnants”, and Turkeysuspended high-level diplomatic relations with the Netherlandson Tuesday. Erdogan also accused Germany of behaving “like Nazis” after the government banned Turkish rallies ahead of the referendum.

Forbes, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, the UK Department of Health, Reuters Japan, BBC North America, Duke University and Amnesty International were all affected among several other charities and universities.

BBC North America confirmed that it had been caught up on the hack, tweeting: “Hi everyone – we temporarily lost control of this account, but normal service has resumed. Thanks.”

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In a statement, Twitter said that it was “aware of an issue affecting a number of account holders this morning. Our teams are working at pace and taking direct action on this issue. We quickly located the source which was limited to a third party app. We removed its permissions immediately. No additional accounts are impacted. (IANS)

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USA: Everything you want to know about Security Clearance; Find out here!

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas.

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Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA
Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. We take a look at what that means.

What is a security clearance?

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas after completion of a background check. The clearance by itself does not guarantee unlimited access. The agency seeking the clearance must determine what specific area of information the person needs to access.

What are the different levels of security clearance?

There are three levels: Confidential, secret and top secret. Security clearances don’t expire. But, top secret clearances are reinvestigated every five years, secret clearances every 10 years and confidential clearances every 15 years.

All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA
All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA

Who has security clearances?

According to a Government Accountability Office report released last year, about 4.2 million people had a security clearance as of 2015, they included military personnel, civil servants, and government contractors.

Why does one need a security clearance in retirement?

Retired senior intelligence officials and military officers need their security clearances in case they are called to consult on sensitive issues.

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Can the president revoke a security clearance?

Apparently. But there is no precedent for a president revoking someone’s security clearance. A security clearance is usually revoked by the agency that sought it for an employee or contractor. All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance, which can include criminal acts, lack of allegiance to the United States, behavior or situation that could compromise an individual and security violations. (VOA)