TikTok says cyber-attack hit brands, celebrities

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TikTok reports that it is dealing with a cyber-attack that targeted brands and celebrities, including Paris Hilton and CNN.

The video-sharing app informed the BBC that a “very limited” number of accounts were affected.

TikTok is currently assisting users in regaining access to their accounts.

Owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, TikTok has not disclosed further details about the nature of the cyber-attack.

A TikTok spokesperson confirmed that while Paris Hilton’s account was targeted, it was not compromised.

Hilton, a reality TV star with over 10 million followers, is an active user of the platform.

Conversely, the account of news broadcaster CNN has been compromised.

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

“We are dedicated to maintaining the integrity of the platform and will continue to monitor for any further inauthentic activity.”

CNN did not immediately respond to the BBC’s request for comment.

This news emerges as TikTok faces a potential ban in the US unless it is sold by its Chinese parent company.

While TikTok has millions of users globally, it has been scrutinized over concerns regarding user data security and its connections to the Chinese government.

TikTok is also becoming a new social media battleground for the US elections.

Earlier this month, Donald Trump joined the platform, despite having attempted to ban it on national security grounds during his presidency.

Trump, who has amassed more than five million followers since launching his account on Saturday, said he will use “every tool available to speak directly with the American people”.

President Joe Biden is also using the platform to campaign for re-election in November, but he has only picked up around 350,000 followers – far fewer than his rival.