Now I’m not saying I know how to hack into a twitter account (although I can certainly find out), 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.