TikTok Hackers Target Top Profiles like Paris Hilton and CNN

Hacker on laptop with glitchy tiktok background
TikTok Hackers Minerva Studio/Shutterstock Mehaniq/Shutterstock The7Dew/Shutterstock

Hackers have embedded themselves into some of TikTok’s most popular accounts, including Paris Hilton, CNN, and Sony.

According to Semafor and Forbes, this malicious attack seems to have involved malware being transmitted through TikTok’s direct message system.

Reportedly, this hacking may have impacted affected users’ abilities to post on these accounts. Although, at the time of writing, the affected accounts haven’t posted anything suspicious… yet.

Semafor reports that CNN’s account, for instance, was broken into by a hacker last week. This led to the account being taken offline for a number of days. In light of this, CNN said that the news outlet was working with TikTok to help make the account secure again.

What did TikTok say about the hackers?

When contacted by TechCrunch, TikTok refused to share further details of the incident and what counter measures they have taken — so as to not “tip off” these hackers.

However, a spokesperson for the company did issue a statement.

“Our security team is aware of a potential exploit targeting a number of high-profile accounts,” the statement read. “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.”

This comes at a time of widespread concern over data privacy and security on TikTok.

In April, Joe Biden signed a bill to force TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, to sell to a U.S. buyer in an alleged attempt to improve national security. If TikTok doesn’t sell, the app will face a nationwide ban.

TikTok and individual creators have since sued the U.S. government in response, arguing that the ban violates users’ First Amendment rights. 

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