Zuckerberg hacking adds to cloud of internet insecurity

Mark Zuckerberg’s Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn accounts were hacked by hacking group OurMine Team


While Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook and Instagram were safe, the hackers managed to gain access to his Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. Photo: Bloomberg
While Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook and Instagram were safe, the hackers managed to gain access to his Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. Photo: Bloomberg

New Delhi: Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s social media accounts were hacked over the weekend. While Zuckerberg’s Facebook and Facebook-owned photo sharing site Instagram were safe, the hackers managed to gain access to his Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts according to reports in Engadget. The hacking was traced back to a group called OurMine Team, who boasted about the alleged hacks in a tweet and invited Zuckerberg to contact them.

“Hey @finkd (Zuckerberg’s Twitter handle) we got access to your Twitter & Instagram & Pinterest, we are just testing your security, please dm us.”

It is speculated that the hacking may have been linked to LinkedIn’s password breach of 2012 when the company was the victim of an unauthorized access. LinkedIn had confirmed this in a blog post in 2012, adding that they their immediate response included a mandatory password reset for all accounts they believed were compromised as a result of the unauthorized disclosure. Additionally, all members were advised to change their passwords as a best practice.

An update to the same blog last month suggests that the security breach that happened in 2012 may still impact some users four years later. “Yesterday, we became aware of an additional set of data that had just been released that claims to be email and hashed password combinations of more than 100 million LinkedIn members from that same theft in 2012. We are taking immediate steps to invalidate the passwords of the accounts impacted, and we will contact those members to reset their passwords. We have no indication that this is as a result of a new security breach.”

The company invalidated passwords for all accounts created prior to the 2012 breach and asked users to regularly change their passwords, choosing a strong password that was a combination of letters, numbers and symbols.

Zuckerberg’s hackers had also posted what they claimed was the password associated with his LinkedIn account. It’s possible like many of us, Zuckerberg too, was using the same email and password for multiple social accounts, thereby enabling several of his social accounts to be compromised at the same time.

While there has been no widespread damage caused to Zuckerberg by the hacking, it does demonstrate that even the CEO of the world’s biggest social network is not above such security lapses and securing data is a pain point with companies today.

As internet evangelist Mary Meeker points out in the latest Internet Trends report released earlier this week, as data explodes, concerns around data security explode too. Since 2013, a staggering four billion data records have been breached globally. Concerns around consumer data privacy are rising rapidly. In slide no 209, Meeker points out that 45% of customers are more worried about online privacy than they were a year ago while 74% of customers have limited their online activity in the last year due to privacy concerns. The presentation ends with a telling quote by Adam Ghetti, CEO of Ionic Security, a company that deals with issues of data breach: “In the tangible world, physical limitations prevent the broad abuse of law. Should the same laws automatically apply to the digital world where a few lines of code can unlock someone’s entire life?”

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