6 Jun 2016

2500 Twitter Accounts Hacked by Pornographic Spambots

The hacked account of electro-funk duo Chromeo. (Image: Symantec)

In a shocking incident involving Twitter, more than 2500 accounts with a large number of followers ,were hacked by porn spambots. Accounts of famous persons included Azeem Banatwala a comedian, international football star Cecil and Chromeo, the electric funk duo who were hacked and their images replaced by the photographs of nude women.

Even the names on the accounts were changed, and links to pornographic sites were posted. Several of these accounts have thousands of followers. Hacking them means the attackers can easily lure a large number of their followers onto their pornographic websites.
The attack was detected by Symantec’s senior security response manager, who quoted that the attackers deliberately chose accounts with a large number of followers.
The exact extent of this attack is still not known, but the first count suggests there could be more victims; it also shows the vulnerabilities of the social media platform. Just a few days ago LinkedIn acknowledged the fact that millions of its accounts’ information was stolen back in 2012, yet was just detected.
It also proves how careless users are with their account passwords. Either they use easy to crack passwords or they use similar passwords for their different accounts. Hence, if the password of one of their accounts gets hacked, like the ones in case of LinkedIn, the hackers have an immediate access to their other accounts. It shows the danger of being careless with passwords and the issues it can cause.
Considering these facts, it is advisable that users must use complex passwords and that their passwords for different websites should alternate. Also, wherever possible, a two-factor authentication must be activated. It will ensure that the passwords, even if they are hacked, are rendered useless and no hacker will be able to access their accounts without their knowledge.