London - British politicians were among those caught up on Friday in the latest Twitter-based scam, which hijacks users' accounts to send out sexually explicit messages to friends and followers.
The micro-blogging website has seen hit by a wave of so-called phishing scams, which lure users to a bogus website 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 British Energy Minister Ed Miliband 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
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 tweet like that." Other prominent politicians and journalists were among those who received the rogue messages.
Even tech-savvy Twitter users have been hit.
Intel UK, the British arm of the chip maker, apologised to its followers on 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.