Hackers Take Over Inactive Twitter Profiles to Push Out Terrorist Propaganda

Twitter security takes yet another public hit, as terrorists organizations seize dormant accounts to promote hateful propaganda…

Although Twitter has made significant progress on its fight against true hate speech, there’s still much to do. Case in point comes from TechCrunch, which reports ISIS supporters are actively taking over abandoned Twitter accounts and using the profiles to promote terrorist ideology.

Dormant Twitter Accounts Seized by ISIS to Spread Propaganda

Security researcher WauchulaGhost discovered extremists have hijacked dormant accounts by exploiting age-old tricks. Most of these profiles registered with expired email addresses or email accounts which never actually existed. This, due to the fact Twitter did not verify email addresses for nearly a decade. Since the social microblog only partially hides those addresses, it’s entirely possible to recreate them and then reset the passwords.

As a result, terrorist propagandists can and have successfully posted images, videos, and text in attempts to recruit new members.

What’s more, not all are small accounts. Some claimed “tens of thousands” of followers. (Although, it’s doubtful said followers would agree with such extreme views.)

Twitter has already suspended most of the compromised profiles. Additionally, the company states this is “not a new issue” and it’s “working to identify solutions.” It’s worth noting Twitter has made improvements to its platform. For instance, new users who register must verify their email accounts.

Ashley Lipman

Ashley Lipman is a super-connector with Outreachmama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking.