ComputerWorld reports the Twitter accounts of 33 celebrities were hacked on Monday, including the accounts of Obama and Britney Spears:
"This morning we discovered 33 Twitter accounts had been 'hacked,' including prominent Twitter-ers like Rick Sanchez and Barack Obama," Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said in post to the company blog. "We immediately locked down the accounts and investigated the issue. Rick, Barack and others are now back in control of their accounts."
Earlier in the day, the hacked accounts had been used to send malicious messages, many of them offensive. CNN correspondent Rick Sanchez's account, for example, tweeted a message claiming that "i am high on crack right now might not be coming to work today," while Fox News' Twitter update reported "Breaking: Bill O Riley [sic] is gay," referring to the network's conservative talk show host.
According to Twitter, the accounts were hijacked using the company's own internal support tools. "These accounts were compromised by an individual who hacked into some of the tools our support team uses to help people do things like edit the e-mail address associated with their Twitter account when they can't remember or get stuck," Stone admitted. "We considered this a very serious breach of security and immediately took the support tools offline. We'll put them back only when they're safe and secure."