Anonymous, the hacktivist collective, is notorious for launching DDoS attacks on government websites as a form of activism. Funny thing though, one of Anonymous’ own Twitter accounts got hacked.
It’s not clear as to why Anonymous Central was hacked, but it’s now back in business. Browsing Twitter feeds, Anonymous and Rustle League have an ongoing dispute regarding the Westboro Baptist Church, which is notorious for religious, racial and gender discrimination.
In December 2012, Twitter suspended @YourAnonNews because of a movement against the WBC. Anonymous allegedly tweeted the suspected whereabouts of Westboro members who arrived in Newtown, Connecticut to protest at the funeral of Sandy Hook shooting victims, which prompted the suspension. Rustle League allegedly got a hold of Anonymous’ Twitter account and tweeted links directing people to see goatse photos. Rustle League targeted Anonymous for curtailing the WBC’s freedom of speech.
There has actually been a series of Twitter account hacks that happened this week. First it was Buger King, who’s hacker tweeted from the official BK account that it had been acquired by McDonald’s, even changing its Twitter profile photo to the McDonald’s logo. Similarly Jeep’s Twitter account was hacked, tweeting that it had been sold to Cadillac. Burger King and Jeep both recovered from the hack, and even swapped tweets. BK tweeted “@Jeep Glad everything is back to normal,” to which Jeep responded, “@BurgerKing Thanks BK. Let us know if you want to grab a burger and swap stories – we’ll drive.”
Even English broadcaster Jeremy Clarkson did not escape unscathed, with hackers tweeting links to weight-loss websites.
The question is, who is to blame for all the hacked accounts?
Fortify your password
Though Anonymous is a hactivist collective, that doesn’t mean that they’re allowed to use weak passwords on their online accounts.
“The reason Anonymous fell victim is probably human weakness,” said Graham Cluley, senior consultant at security firm Sophos.
“Chances are that they followed poor password practices, like using the same password in multiple places or choosing a password that was easy to crack. Everyone should learn better password security from incidents like this – if it can happen to an account run by Anonymous supporters, it could happen to you,” he said.
Never use your name, birthday, phone number, social security number as your password. Choose something that no one would ever think of.
Don’t use cliché passwords such as password1234, pw1234, abcd1234, or love5683. Spice things up, throw in random words, spell it out weirdly by using letters and numbers, remember to inject some capital letters in there, and you’re set.
Remember what your password is. If you have a hard time memorizing things, write it down somewhere where others can’t easily access it. If you keep forgetting where you wrote it down, place it somewhere that’s in plain sight but be sure not to write down the password itself. Make a security question about your password so even if others see it, they won’t have the context to use it.