The 50 million followers of teen idol Justin Bieber received messages in Indonesian linking to an Android app called Shooting Stars.
“Within seconds, Bieber’s fanatical followers were favoriting and retweeting his message regardless, one assumes, of whether they were able to understand them,” ESET reports. The tweets included the word, “Cemberut,” which means “sullen or grumpy, and is sometimes used by social media users alongside downcast selfies of themselves.”
It was not immediately clear how the Biebs’ account was compromised.
“Did he, or whoever manages his social media accounts, authorise a rogue third party app to post on the Twitter account without thinking of the possible consequences, was he specifically targeted or was someone careless with their password?” ESET posits.
A warning quickly followed the hijacking that advised followers not to click on the links: “That link from earlier. dont click it. virus. going to erase this now. spread the word. thanks”
Later that message was deleted, and replaced with a tweet claiming that everything was now under control:
“all good now. we handled it.”
ThreatWatch is a regularly updated catalog of data breaches successfully striking every sector of the globe, as reported by journalists, researchers and the victims themselves.