TikTok hackers target Paris Hilton, CNN and other high-profile users

TikTok has said it is taking measures to tackle a cyber-attack that targeted several celebrities and brand accounts, including Paris Hilton and CNN.

The social video app confirmed CNN’s feed was one of a small number of high-profile accounts that had been affected after its security team was alerted to malicious actors targeting the US news outlet.

“We have been collaborating closely with CNN to restore account access and implement enhanced security measures to safeguard their account moving forward,” a TikTok spokesperson said.

TikTok also revealed Hilton was targeted but the reality TV star’s account had not been compromised.

The short-form video-sharing platform told the Associated Press the attack had taken place through the app’s direct messaging feature but would not give any more details. It is still investigating the what happened and working with affected account owners who are trying to get their access restored.

The app, which is owned by the Chinese tech firm ByteDance, faces a ban in the US over concerns that it poses a national security threat. Joe Biden signed legislation in April that would lead to the app being prohibited across the country unless ByteDance was able to sell it to a non-Chinese entity by mid-January.

TikTok, which has about 170 million users in the US, revealed last month that it was taking legal action to block the law, arguing it was unconstitutional and violated free speech.

Last week it was revealed that Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for the presidency, had joined the app, despite signing an executive order when he was president in 2020 to ban it over its links to Beijing. In March, Trump told reporters that even though he considered TikTok a national security risk he no longer supported a ban.

The TikTok attack is the latest in several hacks targeting social media platforms in recent years. One of the most high-profile incidents occurred in July 2020, when hackers were able to take control of the accounts of public figures and corporations on Twitter – now X – including Biden, Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Apple.

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On Tuesday, the NHS confirmed it had been affected by a cyber-attack that led to the health service declaring a “critical incident”.

Seven hospitals run by two NHS trusts, including Guy’s, St Thomas’ and King’s College in London, experienced serious disruption to their services after a ransomware attack targeted a private company that analyses blood tests for them.

The Guardian