Google CEO Sundar Pichai is now the latest victim of hacking being lodged against big bosses in Silicon Valley, an attack that, ironically, "checks" the security of the owner's accounts, the culprits claim.
Earlier this month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg fell prey to the same kind of attack when his own Pinterest and Twitter accounts, which have not actually seen much activity, were taken over by the same group that calls itself OurMine. Daniel Ek, CEO of Spotify, was also recently a target.
This time, however, Pichai's account on the Q&A forum Quora was hacked.
"Today, we checked Sundar Pichai's security, and we got access to his Twitter and Quora accounts," the hacker group writes, "his security was really weak."
As Tech Times earlier reported, Pichai's profile happens to be connected to his Twitter account, and this allowed the perpetrators to announce their takeover of Pichai's Quora profile to more than half a million of his Twitter followers.
Lesson Learned: Nobody Is Safe
All this could, however, be a marketing ploy, one that passes for a gray-hat tactic. While OurMine says it can extract its victims' passwords from their own browsers, the group does offer its data protection services to its victims. The hackers were said to be "testing" the account owners' online security.
"We never changed their passwords," OurMine explains to The Next Web. "We did it because there are other hackers that can hack them and change everything."
The people behind Quora are quick to point out, though, that the account takeover was not at all due to any vulnerability on its system, and this, they say, is seen in the way OurMine "exploited previous password leaks on other services to gain access to accounts on Twitter or Facebook."
"Safeguarding our users," the team from the Q&A platform writes, "is very important to us, which makes security at Quora one of our highest priorities."
The fact that OurMine has been able to pry open the accounts of some of the biggest names in the tech industry sends the message loud and clear: nobody is safe.
How To Avoid Getting Hacked
The simplest way to prevent — or at least minimize the chances of — getting hacked is to use a different password for each platform.
But in order not to get confused with various security measures netizens deploy across sites, it is also best to combine a person's unique password-creation system with the use of notes that the account owner can access offline, arranged in a manner that only the account owner understands.