Friday 14 Jun 2024
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(June 5): Hackers targeted well known brands and celebrities on TikTok, sending a malicious link through private messages to hijack prominent accounts.

The ByteDance Ltd-owned social media service said it’s taking steps to mitigate the incident and stop it from happening again. Intruders breached the account of the cable news channel CNN, the company confirmed, though a spokesperson declined to disclose the full list of accounts that had been targeted or compromised.

The extent of the hacking effort wasn’t immediately clear, though the spokesperson added that “the number of accounts that were compromised is very small”.

“Our security team is aware of a potential exploit targeting a number of brand and celebrity accounts,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “We have taken measures to stop this attack and prevent it from happening in the future. We’re working directly with affected account owners to restore access, if needed.”

TikTok’s future in the US has emerged as a contentious issue ahead of the November US presidential election. ByteDance, which is based in China, currently faces a deadline to sell TikTok amid concerns that the government in Beijing could influence TikTok’s algorithms or gather sensitive information about American users. ByteDance has sued the US government to attempt to block the forced sale.

More than 170 million Americans use the service every month.

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