Explore the latest news and trends  

Sign up for our weekly security newsletter

Be the first to receive important updates on security


Twitter Account of Big Personalities Succumb to Hack

On January 5, 2009, 33 Twitter accounts succumbed to a malicious hacking assault. Some of these accounts belonged to Barack Obama, Rick Sanchez and Britney Spears. Obscene and embarrassing news items were posted to all the 33 accounts.

Utilizing Obama's account, phishers dispatched e-mails touting a gas card, obtainable for free. These e-mails were distributed to the followers of Obama, soliciting them to respond to a survey that asked for the recipient's opinion on Barack Obama as well as promised $500 worth of free gas to the winner. Accordingly, the e-mail carried a link leading to a website that contained the dual question survey.

Hackers also distributed lewd rumors through the Twitter accounts of Rick Sanchez, a CNN newsman and Britney Spears.

A message posted on a Twitter's blog on January 5, 2009 said that an individual who compromised the accounts had hacked into a few of the programs that Twitter's support team utilized to assist users in editing their Twitter account's e-mail address when unable to recall or proceed further. This, according to the posting, was an extremely serious security violation therefore the support tools had been taken offline immediately. Finally the posting said that the support tools would be reinstated when they would become secure and safe.

The hacking of the Twitter accounts reportedly come at the time when a phishing scam recently diverted Twitter users towards a fake website.

Nevertheless, Twitter assured that it had secured all the compromised accounts and removed all posts by the hacker. The Twitter blog post also said that the accounts were instantly locked down and the issue was placed for investigation.

Meanwhile, Twitter is recommending that users carefully read the URLs they get in tweets prior to signing in. Users may also set a new Twitter password for their account if and when required, according to Twitter.

Commenting on the recent problem, senior technology consultant Graham Cluley at Sophos said that Twitter might be fighting in vain although they were doing relatively well by warning people and by trying to eliminate phishing e-mails from their screens. InterentNews.com reported this on January 5, 2009.

Related article: Twitter Flaw Compels Victims to Follow Hacker’s Account

» SPAMfighter News - 1/12/2009

3 simple steps to update drivers on your Windows PCSlow PC? Optimize your Slow PC with SLOW-PCfighter!Email Cluttered with Spam? Free Spam Filter!

Dear Reader

We are happy to see you are reading our IT Security News.

We do believe, that the foundation for a good work environment starts with fast, secure and high performing computers. If you agree, then you should take a look at our Business Solutions to Spam Filter & Antivirus for even the latest version of Exchange Servers - your colleagues will appreciate it!

Go back to previous page