London, Feb 27 (ANI): British Labour politician Ed Miliband has become the latest victim to have his Twitter account hacked by wrongdoers who are bent on embarrassing politicians.
The 'Twitterjacking' scam has caught out a series of politicians including the Leader of the House of Commons, Harriet Harman.
It was supposed to be the "cool" way for MPs to reconnect with the people, a way to persuade a sceptical public that they were "down with the kids" and keen to embrace the digital age.
But in the past month, more and more bewildered politicians have found that using the micro-blogging website Twitter can lead to embarrassment.
Logging in to their Twitter accounts over breakfast, the Energy Secretary's 6,664 followers were greeted with an enthusiastic message apparently sent from his computer, the content of which was enough to make them splutter into their cornflakes.
"Hhey [sic], I've been having better sex and longer with this here," the Independent quoted the message as stating with a link to a website added to it.
The embarrassed minister moved quickly to reassure his followers that he had not posted it.
"Oh dear it seems like I've fallen victim to Twitter's latest 'phishing' scam," he wrote.
Only a few hours later the MP for Dunfermline and West Fife, Willie Rennie, had sent an identical message to more than 4,000 of his followers, including local volunteers and parents.
"I've had lots of reaction and they say no publicity is bad publicity, but it's been a bit embarrassing," he told STV News.
Glasgow South MP, Tom Harris, wrote a blog entry on February 25 in which he joked about a sexual proposition he had received from The Independent on Sunday's political columnist John Rentoul as part of the scam - only to fall prey to it himself shortly afterwards.
"Tom Harris MP. Hot, horny, 24-year-old Independent journalist looking for good time..." his Twitter entry read.
Harriet Harman told MPs on February 25 that her account had sent a bogus message to the shadow Prisons minister, Alan Duncan.
She was responding to a question from the Labour MP Janet Anderson, who urged the Government to look into a website which she said had set up false Twitter accounts in the names of all North-west MPs.
The site, which is called The Year of Collaboration, describes itself as being run by "a collective of techies in the North-west who build things on the Internet". It has set up "holding" profiles in the name of MPs who are not already using Twitter in the hope of persuading them to join.
"If you're an MP with a holding Twitter account, we'd be very happy to hand over the 'keys' - please email us from your House of Commons email account, and ... we'll send you the username and password for the account," a statement on the site stated.
Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant at security firm Sophos, said: "With an election coming up, [MPs] want to appear down with the kids and use new technology to reach out to people more effectively. But they need to go back to the classroom to learn about basic computer security. Too many of them are being a little bit lackadaisical." (ANI)