Hacker group hijacks Facebook social accounts to expose vulnerabilities

Facebook’s accounts on Twitter and Instagram were taken over by a hacking group called OurMine just before the weekend. This incident further highlights how vulnerable social media accounts can be.

Mark Zuckerberg - Facebook
Facebook’s profiles on Twitter and Instagram had been accessed by a high profile hacking group. Photo: Anthony Quintano via Wikimedia Commons

Prime targets

BBC News reports that the group posted on the accounts of both Facebook and its Messenger service. The hackers were so proud of the achievement that they highlighted how Facebook, being the tech giant that it is, can even be hacked.

Facebook has managed to recover its accounts. However, these moves raise concerns over the lack of security regarding social media profiles. If Facebook can be compromised, then any other account has the potential to be taken over too.

These events follow the hijacking of nearly half of the Twitter accounts of NFL franchises by the same group in January. OurMine took advantage of the publicity surrounding the Super Bowl and hacked the accounts, which also included the two finalists, the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs.

Mark Zuckerberg addressing the issue of privacy
With Facebook placing a greater emphasis on privacy and security, it will be concerned about how its accounts were compromised. Photo: Facebook

Making a point

The group reportedly reached out to the NFL before the attack to offer its services and improve its security. However, it did not receive a response from the league. Therefore, it decided to make an example out of them. It then turned to Facebook to promote its services, before the posts were removed.

The group posted on Facebook’s Twitter account:

“Hi, we are OurMine. Well, even Facebook is hackable but at least their security is better then.”

The institution had also got into the Facebook and Messenger accounts on Instagram and posted an image of OurMine’s logo.

Twitter confirmed that the hacking on its platform occurred via a third-party service. It also shared that the infiltrated accounts were locked once the company was alerted.

“As soon as we were made aware of the issue, we locked the compromised accounts and are working closely with our partners at Facebook to restore them,” Twitter said in a statement, as per BBC News.

The third-party platform in question appears to be Khoros, which is used for brands to manage their social media communications. Since passwords and data are stored on these sorts of platforms, they have the potential to be accessed by hackers if the security isn’t tight.

A lot at stake

OurMine had recently managed to get into the social media accounts of several figures and brands. It even got into the account of Twitter’s founder Jack Dorsey, along with Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey
Jack Dorsey will be frustrated with the way key profiles on his service are continuing to be hacked. Photo: Mark Warner via Wikimedia Commons

It does a good job of promoting its security services by showing the lack of safeguards on the profiles that it gets into. With these companies and their audiences fearing further hackings, they will no doubt think about doing more to protect themselves.

With some of these technology corporations having access to the data of millions of people across the globe, it is important that their systems are properly safeguarded. Therefore, work definitely needs to be done if their accounts can be remotely accessed by third parties.

Do you think that social media companies need to revamp their account security? Let us know what your thoughts are in the comment section.

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