HYDE PARK — The University of Chicago was among hundreds of Twitter accounts taken over by hackers late Tuesday to spread neo-Nazi messages in Turkish.
The U. of C.'s Twitter account was hacked just before midnight Tuesday and posted at least one tweet with swastikas and a message in Turkish supporting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s position in an ongoing diplomatic dispute with the Netherlands.
Marielle Sainvilus, a spokeswoman for the university, said the account was compromised only briefly Tuesday night.
"Those tweets have been taken down and the account has been secured," Sainvilus said. "We thank the UChicago community for reporting this issue to Twitter and alerting our social media team."
It’s unclear whether the university’s account was compromised in a way similar to hundreds of others that posted the same message after hackers were able to take control of the accounts through a flaw in the third-party application Twitter Counter, according to one report.
It remains unclear what group was behind the larger takeover of Twitter accounts that included Forbes and other major companies.
Twitter Counter said via Twitter that it is investigating the hack and its service temporarily has been blocked to determine whether it is the source of the hack. The company said it does not store users’ passwords or credit card information and that information was not at risk.
We're aware that our service was hacked and have started an investigation into the matter. We've already taken measures to contain such abuse— TheCounter (@thecounter) March 15, 2017
If the university was part of that broader attack, it would mean it was not specifically targeted. But it would not be the first time the university has had to deal with neo-Nazis in the last week.
The university is trying to press charges against a man allegedly posting neo-Nazi posters on campus on Thursday who was caught and let go by university police.
The Hyde Park Jewish Community Center at 5200 S. Hyde Park Blvd. is recovering from another bomb threat, this time aimed at Purim celebrations Sunday night.
Police continue to investigate the bomb threat and neo-Nazi posters, but have not said that any of these incidents are connected.