Did Turkey Hack Twitter?

Thousands of Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) users woke up on Wednesday to find their accounts had been hacked by what looked to be pro-Turkish sources.

The hacked accounts tweeted pro-Turkish messages, with hashtags referring to the recent tiff between Turkey and European nations Germany and the Netherlands. Turkey’s foreign minister was recently barred from entering Holland, while Germany blocked appearances by Turkish officials hoping to drum up support among Turks living in the country.

Turkey’s President Erdogan is looking to make changes to the constitution that will allow him to stay in power until 2029. Most European nations are opposed to these changes.

This attack should be concerning for Twitter for several reasons. Firstly, it does not appear overly difficult for a hacker to gain control of thousands of different accounts, some of them influential. Even Forbes saw its account get compromised.

It appears the hack was through a third-party analytics app called Twitter Counter. The hackers gained control of the app and used it to post on users’ timelines. If it’s this easy to gain access through third-party apps, Twitter users won’t feel safe using them.

In an era where Twitter’s popularity is waning for several reasons, the company doesn’t want to be making headlines for this reason.

Negative press will just encourage more users to quit and move to other social media platforms. Remember, Twitter is struggling to both grow its user base and monetize its service.

Twitter shares sank on this news, falling $0.36 or 2.4% to $14.95 each. This is close to the stock’s 52-week low, which stands at $13.73.