Six Irish politicians who've been the victim of 'hackers'
Published 25/04/2014 | 17:14
The social media world is a dangerous one, especially if you're someone in the public eye.
Over the last few years, accounts of note have been subjected to many hacking attempts, some of which were successful. Even major news organisations like CNN, Fox News and AP News have been hacked by organisations like the 'Syrian Electronic Army' - which tweeted from those accounts to (falsely) claim that US President Barack Obama had died and declare Joe Biden the new President.
Many high-profile American celebrities and politicians have been the victim of hackers, like Donald Trump, whose account was made to quote Lil' Wayne.
The scourge of hackers has spread to Ireland with some politicians falling foul of the hackers, who seems to target mostly older, male politicians on once-off, seemingly random attacks.
We've collated a list of the Irish politicians whose social media accounts have been compromised over the course of their career.
In June 2013, Ireland's NorthWest European Constituency MEP Jim Higgins claimed he was hacked following a tweet with read "ANGLO can f**k off. Those tapes are digusting"(sic).
He followed up the rogue message with decrying the "fake tweet", writing "While I find #anglotapes disgusting – would never use foul language on twitter. Deleting fake tweet now. JH"
In February 2014, Alex White, Labour TD for Dublin South and Minister of State at the Department of Health with responsibility for Primary Care (there's a title for you), was hacked when his Twitter account favourited a tweet of a "beautiful goddess" from the 'Best Teenies' account, wearing just a t-shirt covering only her shoulders.
Following the compromise, White made his Twitter account private and told the Journal.ie "I'm changing my passwords."
Dundalk Independent Town Cllr Oliver Morgan made a complaint to Gardai after his Facebook account was hacked and used to upload a video of an unidentified masturbating man to the 'Dundalk Friends, Photos and Craic' page.
He told the Dundalk Democrat that he was "fraped".
According to 'itonlyencouragesthem.com', he posted on Facebook that the incident was "filthy vilification" and related to "evil elements" who "tried to destroy" his "public representational career in 2010."
In November 2013, Fianna Fáil TD Michael McGrath took his offical Facebook page down from the social media site after his account was compromised and made to 'like' a Facebook page called 'MILF of the day'.
In April 2010, the then-Labour MEP for Ireland South, Alan Kelly, tweeted that his account had been "compromised" and he was "looking into it."
This followed a tweet sent from his account which began "just got stopped by a pikey, scuse me sir, ya haven't seen a black mare and white pony go by ave ya???"
The word 'Pikey' is considered a derogatory reference towards members of the Travelling Community and Kelly's spokesman said the now TD for Tipperary North would be contacting Twitter to attempt to "trace whoever hacked his account."
Unlike the other examples, Patrick Nulty was not the target of an anonymous hacker, but he initially claimed that lewd Facebook messages sent to his constituents were a result of one.
He later resigned on the basis that he had sent the messages himself while under the influence of alcohol.
He released a statement in which he apologised "wholeheartedly" to an underage girl and her family, who received messages from him "inadvertently", and took "full responsibility" for his actions.
Have we missed any? Let us know by tweeting @IndoEnts!
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