Hackers seized the official account of Britain’s Department for Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS), posting three tweets before government officials deleted them and regained control of the Twitter feed. Hundreds of Twitter users, possibly even thousands, read the rogue tweets on Saturday.
The series of tweets, criticizing the Member of Parliament (MP) and Culture Secretary Maria Miller, read, “Seriously though guys which one of us hasn’t embezzled and cheated the taxpayer?? [sic] #FreeMariaMiller,” “@MariaMiller is like a modern day Robin Hood, she robs the poor to help the rich,” and “Is @Maria_MillerMP guilty? We will let the public decide.” The person — or persons — behind the hack remain a mystery. A DCMS spokeswoman admits she has “absolutely no idea” about the hacker’s identity. The spokeswoman added that she changed the account’s password, without escalating the breach to police and/or Twitter.
The backlash follows suspicions of Miller abusing taxpayer funds. Courts overruled a commissioner asking Miller to pay up to 45,000 pounds. Instead, the Common-Standards Committee “forced [Miller] to make a humiliating apology to the House of Commons,” according to The Huffington Post UK. “The Standards Committee also ordered her to repay £5,800 which she had over-claimed for her mortgage. But it cleared her of using public money to provide for her parents who lived with her,” BBC News adds. The committee also spoke out against Miller’s reluctance to cooperate with investigations about her spending.
“I think that Twitter needs to ensure a set of stronger protocols to ensure better privacy for its users,” says Greg Melancon, Marketing Manager at Web Marketing Solutions. “When any corporate entity realizes that there’s an issue, they’re going to scramble to find a way to fix it.”