Updated: Tuesday, 26 Feb 2013, 11:20 AM EST
Published : Monday, 25 Feb 2013, 9:30 PM EST
COLUMBUS, Ind. (WISH) - The City of Columbus knows all about hackers.
Over the weekend, someone hacked into the Twitter accounts of the Columbus Parks & Recreation Department and The Commons. Both accounts are back up, but 24-Hour News 8 discovered the attack cost them hundreds of followers.
"It really is a nice tool to have to communicate with folks kind of in a more informal way," said Katia Hatter, the City of Columbus Public Relations Coordinator.
Hatter said social networking is the way to go if you want people to know what your doing. She said their twitter accounts are always active with alerts.
"We really enjoy the fact that we have that instant communication with our users. We can alert them about closings and other things that are coming up," Hatter said.
But over the weekend Hatter said their two Twitter accounts were hacked. Subscribers to @ColumbusINParks and @commonscolumbus received unsolicited direct messages such as one asking, "Have you seen this pic of you?" Several subscribers recognized the tweets were spam.
"What's deceptive about it is you get an email from someone you know," Hatter said.
Hatter said they found out about the problem in time. She hopes it didn't inconvenience any of its users, and they can get back to enjoying Columbus.
"Got the alert this morning and changed our password and I hope that's the end of that," she said.
This virus included links to messages that directed readers to websites not associated with the city parks department. Because of this virus the Twitter account lost some subscribers. As of Monday evening, the parks department Twitter feed had 340 followers.
The Commons had 265 followers, down from nearly 2000 combined.
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