Fact: It’s Too Easy to Hack Twitter

Now I’m not saying I know how to hack into a twitter account (although I can certainly find out)Image, but it has become obvious that people have no trouble gaining access of other people’s twitter account. Some of these hacks are in good fun, and are simply a nuisance to the owner of the account. For instance, Burger King was hacked by someone who apparently was partial to McDonald’s. Some of the tweets read:

“@BurgerKing: We just got sold to McDonalds! Look for McDonalds in a hood near you @DFNSTSC”

“@BurgerKing: This is why we were sold to @McDonalds! All of our employees crush and sniff percocets in the bathroom =[ @DFNCTSC”

The second tweet included a picture to go along with its content. Burger King quickly released a formal apology, but the damage was already done. The twitter world had a blast poking fun at the company. Perhaps my favorite tweet read “@flibblesan: someone needs to tell @BurkerKing that ‘whopper123’ is not a secure password”. The hack did, however, bring in a wave of new followers who were intrigued at the hackers ridiculous tweet. If you want more information, click here.

Some of these hack’s have much further reaching consequences. The fact of the matter is that twitter has become a news source. I personally get most of my news updates from twitter because it is faster and easier. Because there is a demand for news, esteemed organizations (i.e. newspaper companies) have twitter accounts that release breaking news pretty frequently. Most followers trust these accounts, so when Associated Press tweeted that a president injuring bomb went off in D.C., there were huge ramifications. Even the stock market took a dive. The tweet was immediately refuted and the stock market returned to normal as quickly as it fell, but the negative consequences for AP are far more drastic. When AP brought its account back online a day after the tweet, it was down 1.9 million followers. Associated Press quickly lost credibility partly because twitter’s security is just not strong enough

Twitter has responded though. It is attempting to increase its security though two-factor authentication. Twitter obviously realizes that it has a serious problem. If it is unable to prevent these attacks, then it would be in the best interest of organizations to remove themselves from twitter. Being hacked is terrible for public relations, especially for news companies. Twitter, therefore, is working hard to prevent such attacks.

Just as a fun way to end this blog (and show how easy it is to hack twitter), here is a DIY link.




9 thoughts on “Fact: It’s Too Easy to Hack Twitter

  1. I touched on this topic in my own blog this week. Through this class, we have learned and seen the many different uses of twitter as a tool. Its been interesting to see Twitter’s evolution, especially in the business world. It must only be a matter of time before the repeated hacking of Twitter starts to seriously impact the companies profits. This lack of security is unacceptable to these major corporations, and I don’t think they will put up with it much longer. I liked the hacktwitterpassword blog, interesting to see it put to work.

  2. I was reading about this earlier this week and even though I found these tweets to be hilarious, its clear that no company playing the role of victim in this situation would find it quite so funny. I did not get a chance to see the picture that was attached to the percocet tweet but I can only assume it was not very appropriate. Some customers may find it to be funny, but I doubt this made anyone want to go to Burger King any more than they already did. Even though they may have gained new followers, I’m sure they lost more. It is concerning that helpful tools such as twitter are now becoming such a site of attack. The example about the Associated Press was the most concerning of all because it was spreading false information that was actually very dangerous to be circulating, ESPECIALLY at this time where the country is still trying to move on from the most recent terrorist attack. As much as I believe that this is hurtful, I think Twitter is much too powerful and useful of a tool to get rid of over a hacking problem. Great Post!

  3. It’s amazing how quickly social media can affect the daily lives of companies, businesses and people. I, like so many others, use Twitter as my main source of news because, let’s face it, I’m not one to pick up the newspaper or watch the evening news in my free time. Naturally, on Marathon Monday I was glued to my computer refreshing the Twitter accounts of various news sources, trying to understand what was happening. Not only did facts circulate quickly, but so did rumors. The ability of Twitter to spread news, whether it be true or false, is so fast that once a tweet is sent the damage is almost instantaneous. That is why any activity a hacker does is so hurtful, especially if the news source is well known and has thousands of followers. Earlier in the week I saw an article that talked about numerous other Twitter accounts that have been recently hacked. With all this security breached, I’m glad that Twitter is taking the initiative to increased its security, but I wish they had begun to do so sooner.

  4. Just like the three comments mentioned before me, it’s pretty overwhelming to see how easily such a big online company can be hacked into and breached to release fraudulent information. However, what surprises me most is the fact that there haven’t been any reports about trying to find whoever was responsible for the hacking. Although I feel better hearing that Twitter is spending the time to create an effective security for their users, it worries me that there are no consequences for the breaching of this recognized and highly followed news source, which probably just incentivizes the hackers to try and do it again. Nonetheless, I haven’t heard of any information from Twitter on this subject, so hopefully someone who has heard something can prove me wrong and that these hackers will get caught.

  5. As Im sure all Twitter users have seen their friends have their twitter’s hacked; whether it was by one of their friends or a company that says “This user made $120 this week just by filing out this survey!” It is clear that there is a security problem for social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. These two examples, recently the hack of the AP twitter, are just a few examples that happen to big time accounts. What I would like to see in this article is an explanation of how they actually hack the twitter? The whole article talks about how easy it is to hack, but there is no description as to why that is.

  6. I don’t think hacking accounts have gotten easier or anything, but just that the large abundance of accounts on Twitter and Facebook give the hackers more opportunities to gain access. That’s why each user needs to take precautions when setting passwords for their various accounts and make sure that their passwords are different and unguessable (yes, that’s a word.) It’s also in Twitter’s best interest to step up security on their site in order to retain their users as well as credibility of a reliable source of updates.

  7. This was a very good post. I do think that Twitter passwords being to easy to hack is a serious problem. Luckily, I do not think we have seen how serious a problem this could be just yet. Most of the hacks I have seen were more like practical jokes, like the Burger King one. However, the AP hack shows just how big a problem it could be. I think Twitter has to put a lot of work into its security system because someone could wreak havoc if they got on an important account. The AP hack caused the stock market to plummet and that ended pretty quickly. I do not want to imagine what would have happened if the problem was not taken care of quickly.

  8. Very good post Kevin! I believe that cyber crime has been the most concerning problem in the modern ages. I agree that most of the hacked twitter accounts are for fun, but when I first heard about AP being hacked my first initial reaction is remembering what my teacher in middle school said about the internet in general; it is not a reliable source. But with the world becoming more and more digitalized, I don’t know how effective will we be able to prevent this from happening. I feel like internet advancement does not equal to the security measures that are being put up.

  9. Great blog post! This hacking of famous person’s Twitter accounts has become almost a trend. Three weeks ago, with the presidential elections in Venezuela, many accounts of important public officials were hacked, including the official presidential candidate’s. From most of the tweets, you could certainly tell that it wasn’t they who were tweeting. It is impossible to believe that someone will change their mind and start cheering for the opposition candidate in matters of seconds. Nevertheless, this caused public officials to get really mad and thus they shut down the entire internet service from CANTV, the largest provider of internet in Venezuela. What started as a joke served to prove Venezuelans the negative power the government has over its citizens.

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