February 21, 2013
Even Anonymous Gets Hacked
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
It may be too early to tell, but so far 2013 looks to become the year of the Twitter hack. Celebrities like Alicia Keys have claimed to have been hacked when a tweet went out from her account from an iPhone. Keys, by the way, was recently “hired” as the Global Creative Director for BlackBerry, the company that was once known as RIM.
Following in her footsteps, Burger King had their Twitter account hacked by an unknown group or person who then began claiming the home of the Whopper had been acquired by the home of Ronald McDonald. Jeep was next on the list, with their hackers using the Twitter account to claim the company had been bought by Chevrolet. When these kinds of things happen, all eyes fall on Anonymous, the Internet troublemakers who are known for breaking into networks for various and often nonsensical reasons.
They claimed innocence in these hacks, and likely had no idea they´d be next to have their account taken over.
Another rival group of hacktivists known as Rustle League have claimed responsibility for this hack, proving even Anonymous is as vulnerable to attacks as anyone else.
Rustle League has worked with Anonymous before on “missions,” though for whatever reason they decided to take over one of Anonymous´ multiple accounts, @Anon_central.
Two hours later, the proper owner of the Anonymous account was back online and tweeting about global political issues. Perhaps this hack is similar to another stunt pulled by similar-yet-different organizations BET and MTV?
The two Viacom-owned entities traded Twitter accounts for a few hours earlier this week, claiming to have hacked one another and innocently poking fun at each other´s programming.
“The reason Anonymous fell victim is probably human weakness," explained security expert Graham Cluely with Sophos, speaking to the BBC.
"Chances are that they followed poor password practices, like using the same password in multiple places or choosing a password that was easy to crack.”
“Everyone should learn better password security from incidents like this - if it can happen to an account run by Anonymous supporters, it could happen to you."
Twitter has also encouraged users to take extreme care when choosing their passwords this week, noting, “there's been a fair amount of conversation about account security on Twitter” over the past few days.
In a blog post, director of information security Bob Lord urges Twitter users to pick a strong password, avoid suspicious links, and keep your information to yourself rather than share it with unknown third parties. The same security suggestions can be used anywhere online. It´s never prudent to click any link that looks suspicious, and it´s always best to use different passwords for each account, rather than one password for every account you own.
This recent attack has proved even the bad guys can be hacked. This should be enough to persuade you to revisit your online security practices and even change a few passwords.