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February 19, 2013

It’s Whack to Hack

Hackers

Whenever a brand or celebrity or brand tweets something that was supposed to remain private, the excuse is almost always “our account was hacked”. Most of the time, that it is actually user error, and it is very rare that an account has actually been compromised. Until now. In the last 24 hours, two very large brands, Burger King and Jeep have had their accounts hacked by what appears to be the same group, @DFNCTSC.

McDonalds-BurgerKing-on-Twitter

The hijinks started on Monday afternoon, when Burger King’s account had been transformed into that of its greatest rival, McDonalds. After a logo change, a new bio, and a few fun tweets, the account was suspended and then restored to its rightful owners. On Tuesday, the group struck again, as Jeep’s page was rebranded as Cadillac. The new bio claimed that they had been sold to Cadillac, the profile picture was Cadillac’s logo, and the background was a man driving around in a McDonalds themed car, linking this incident to Burger King’s.

Surprisingly, both brands gained followers after their incidents. As of Tuesday, Burger King welcomed over 30,000 new followers, while Jeep is up over 2,000 followers. We do not recommend letting your account get hacked as a way to gain followers. There are many things that could have been done in order to prevent these incidents.

The most likely reason that these accounts became compromised is due to a lack of password security. Many people tend to pick a password that is easy to remember, rather than on that is hard to guess. For example, for a basketball brand, your password should not be any of these: Basketball, Basketball1, Hoops, LeBron, or SlamDunk. Instead, make it something that is not brand specific, is not a real word, and contains upper and lower case letters, as well as numbers and symbols. If you are not sure if your password is up to snuff, there are multiple password strength checkers available online. Another thing that brands should remember to do is to revoke access to platforms that they no longer use. For example, if you use a social management platform and then switch to a new service, revoke access to that old service.

Brands, HIP, Social Media, Twitter

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