TikTok Faces Cyberattack Targeting High-Profile Users

TikTok Faces Cyberattack Targeting High-Profile Users

Elina Petrovich
2 min read

TikTok Faces Cyberattack Targeting High-Profile Users

TikTok has been actively responding to a cyberattack aimed at high-profile users through direct messages, with the goal of taking over their accounts. This led to measures being put in place to stop the attack and support affected users in regaining access. Notably, CNN's account was briefly breached but not due to internal access issues at CNN. These hacking attempts are becoming a major concern as the US presidential election approaches. Paris Hilton's account was also targeted, but it remained uncompromised. Apart from these attacks, TikTok is contending with broader security and privacy issues, including the potential for a ban due to a recent law signed by President Biden, unless its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, divests the platform.

Key Takeaways

  • TikTok is combatting a cyberattack targeting high-profile users directly.
  • Jason Grosse, a TikTok spokesperson, has confirmed actions to prevent future attacks.
  • CNN's account was briefly breached, according to a report by Semafor.
  • With the upcoming US presidential election, security concerns are heightened.
  • TikTok has identified only two compromised accounts from the attack, including CNN’s.


The recent cyberattack on TikTok targeting high-profile users like CNN highlights increased security risks during the US election season. This incident, combined with wider privacy concerns and legislative pressures, may push ByteDance to divest TikTok to avoid a ban. Short-term effects include damaged user trust and potential regulatory scrutiny, while long-term consequences could involve significant changes to TikTok's ownership structure and operational practices. This situation could also impact global perceptions of social media security, influencing user engagement and investor confidence.

Did You Know?

  • Cyberattack via Direct Messages: This refers to a method of attack where hackers send malicious messages directly to users, often disguised as legitimate communications. The aim is to deceive recipients into clicking on links or attachments that can compromise their accounts or devices.
  • Account Hijacking: This is a security breach where an attacker gains unauthorized control over a user's account. Once hijacked, the attacker can manipulate the account, access private information, or use the account for further malicious activities.
  • ByteDance: This Chinese multinational internet technology company is headquartered in Beijing and is best known for developing the video-sharing social networking service TikTok and its Chinese equivalent, Douyin. The mention of ByteDance in the context of a potential ban highlights the geopolitical and regulatory challenges faced by international tech companies.

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