BY NICOLE DARRAH
On Monday, Feb. 18, Twitter users were confused when the fast-food chain Burger King’s Twitter account appeared as Mc- Donalds. The Burger King account (@BurgerKing), with over 111,000 followers, changed its account picture to the McDonalds logo, as well as its username and profile.
Just a day after Burger King’s Twitter account had been hacked, similar tweets and changes were appearing on Jeep’s (@Jeep) Twitter account. The account’s bio changed to “Jump Empty Every Pocket, Sold to Cadillac =(,” with its location changing to “In a hood near you!” and their background featuring the Cadillac Twitter background, rather than Jeep’s. The account had also been tweeting pictures of people doing drugs, claiming their CEO and employees did them.
“We first became aware of it when the first tweet came through,” Chrysler spokeswoman Eileen Wunderlich told the Chicago Tribune. “We worked very fast with Twitter folks to disable the account as soon as possible and then worked to get it back up as soon as possible.”
The online hacker, according to the Daily Mail, is believed to be a New-England based DJ.
“I think it’s nuts that a social network as big as Twitter can be hacked so easily,” said Vicki Goldberg, freshman at Suffolk University. “I’ve heard there have been a lot of accounts not as big as Jeep or Burger King that have been hacked recently, too.”
The Associated Press reported that Twitter confirmed the information of 250,000 accounts had been accessed. Twitter quickly reset all user passwords and sent emails to the affected users.
Bob Lord, director of Twitter’s information security said in the social media network’s blog that the attack “was not the work of amateurs.”
“The attackers were extremely sophisticated, and we believe other companies and organizations have also been recently similarly attacked,” Lord said. “For that reason, we felt that it was important to publicize this attack while we still gather information, and we are helping government and federal law enforcement in their effort to find and prosecute these attackers to make the Internet safer for all users.”
Twitter user, Lisa Priest, said this happens all the time.
“It’s the Internet – personal accounts everywhere, blogs, websites, anything – they’re always getting hacked,” Priest said. “It’s common sense that if you’re going to create a profile somewhere, that there’s the chance of getting your account compromised at one point or another. It’s just a risk people take.”
Other users, however, say is makes them wary of partaking in social networks at all.
“It’s a bold thing to put all of your information out there on sites like Facebook and Twitter,” said Alyssa Keenan, student at Penn State. “Having these companies promise you your information will be safe when you agree to their Terms & Conditions is all thrown out the window when your account is hacked.”
With the usage of social net-working sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, among many others, skyrocketing, there is a chance of personal information becoming compromised. Many users choose to remain loyal to these sites, even in the event of their accounts getting hacked.