If you have TikTok downloaded on your phone, you should avoid opening any direct messages you receive for now. Forbes reports that sources inside the company discovered that malicious code is being used to take over numerous celebrity and brand accounts on TikTok. The official accounts of CNN, Sony, and Paris Hilton have reportedly been impacted.

According to the report, the bad actors behind these attacks are transmitting malware through DMs on the popular social media app. Distressingly, the malware does not require the victim to download any software or click on a malicious link. Apparently, all you have to do to potentially infect your device is open a DM with the malware present.

This is seemingly connected to a separate report from Semafor, which noted on Sunday that a hacker broke into CNN’s TikTok account last week, prompting the news organization to take the account down. While some CNN staffers told Semafor that the team had been lax with its digital safety practices, one network source added that the breach came from outside of the company. It’s entirely possible that a staffer opened one of the malicious DMs.

A CNN spokesperson told Semafor that the company is “working with TikTok on the backend on additional cybersecurity measures” to ensure that their account is secure during the presidential debates and other noteworthy events in the coming weeks. At the time of writing, the main CNN TikTok account is still unavailable on the platform.

If you’re concerned that your account has been hacked, be sure to take preventative measures as quickly as possible. On a support page, TikTok provides a few useful solutions to secure your account, including resetting your password, linking a phone number, and removing suspicious or unfamiliar devices that have access to your account.

We’ll continue to update this article as we learn more about the TikTok hack.


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