February 21, 2013
Twitter: Like A Giant FU Carved On The Wall Of A Bathroom Stall
To roughly paraphrase a popular movie quote: “If having your Twitter account hacked is cool, consider me Miles Davis.”
It seems these days everyone is having their Twitter account hacked into. Burger King, for instance, had their account compromised earlier this week. The hucksters responsible for the attack claimed the burger joint had been purchased by rival McDonald’s.
Yesterday, motor company Jeep suffered a similar, yet much shorter-lived fate when cyber attackers broke into their Twitter account, claimed they had been purchased by Cadillac, and even offered a suggested acronym for the company.
Why, even popular singer and BlackBerry Worldwide Creative Director Alicia Keys has been hacked recently, (according to Keys) with the perpetrator sending out some lyrics with missing punctuation. Grammatical errors aside, the real damage here was the device used to send the Tweet: an iPhone — as in the phone which helped take down RIM as a phone leader, a fall from which the company is struggling to recover.
The Jeep hackers quickly swapped the stock Jeep icon as the avatar for the Cadillac insignia and replaced the existing bio with something more…unique.
“The official Twitter handle for the Jeep — Just Empty Every Pocket, Sold To Cadillac,” read the new bio, just before devolving into a mess of emoticons, hashtags, fake links and racially insensitive comments. Like the Burger King hack, the Jeep attackers used their new platform to Tweet vulgar language and accuse employees of drug use. The attackers are also apparent fans of a rapper by the name of Chief Keef.
I’m sure Mr. Keef is tickled green to be an unwitting bystander in this entire ordeal.
Not long after the fake messages about drugs and rappers started spewing from the hacked Jeep account, Cadillac’s PR team leapt to their devices and washed their hands of the ordeal.
“Just to clarify, Cadillac is not connected to the hack of the @Jeep Twitter account.”
Unlike the Burger King Attack of ’13, these Jeep hackers only had control of the account for about nine minutes before Twitter jumped in and restored order.
In an interesting move, Viacom-owned television stations BET and MTV used the recent rash of hacked accounts to drum up some publicity for themselves and hacked one another. These exchanges were all in good fun, of course, with either company poking fun at each other’s programs and awards shows.
Not to show my age, (though I suppose I already have by quoting an 18-year old movie at the onset of this piece) but I have a hard time understanding the allure of breaking into a Twitter account.
Is this the modern age’s equivalent to streaking across the field while a ball game is being played?
Is forcibly breaking into a Twitter account the new generation’s “Soy Bomb?”
These kinds of hacks are almost always used to spew insensitive or hateful language and curse words. Twitter, it seems, is their bathroom wall and they can’t wait to scratch in a giant “FU” in the farthest stall.
Though Twitter seems to be on the ball with this kind of stuff, it’s best to protect yourself with a solid password and 2-step verification when attempting to reset a password.
Otherwise, you may also find yourself amongst the “cool kids” who have been hacked.
The cool kids in this situation, of course, being Burger King, Jeep and Alicia Keys.
I know…it felt weird typing it, too.
Image Credit: Photos.com