Dissidents invade Twitter account of adviser to embattled Turkish prime minister

Government (Foreign) // Social Media

The hack targeting Mustafa Varank, a close ally of Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, coincided with the funeral of Berkin Elvan, a 15-year-old boy who died on March 11.

Hurriyet Daily News reports that activists tweeted, “We know who Elvan’s killer is.” That message was posted next to a photo of Erdoğan with the text “I gave the instructions to the police.”

They also changed the Twitter profile picture to one of Elvan. 

Hacktivists DLMK Hack allegedly broke into the account followed by 52,000 users.

After regaining control of his tweets, Varank apologized to his followers, suggesting that he has been the target of “voyeurism, montage and blackmail.”

This week, Erdogan had threatened to cut off his citizens’ access to social media but has since backtracked.

Despite Erdogan's public statements on the matter, observers remain wary.

“We are extremely worried by these speeches by Erdogan, and we are also more worried that these are credible threats… the government has been multiplying legal initiatives [and] jeopardizing freedom of information over the past few months,” Johann Bihr, head of Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk at Reporters Without Borders, told Al Arabiya News.

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.