No one is immune to getting their social media account hacked, one wrong move and that's all it takes for a skilled hacker to break into your account and do with it as they will. But with that said, how is this happening to so many tech CEOs as of late?
It would no doubt be unfair to expect them to have some type of immunity to this, but wouldn't one think that as some of the people who understand the tech - as well as its weaknesses - than most of us, they would go through the extra lengths to protect themselves?
Unfortunately, the reality hasn't played out as expected and in the span of a little over a month, some of the most renowned tech CEOs in the world have had their social media account hacked.
Previous victims include Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Google's Sundar Pichai, Oculus' Brendan Iribe and, now new to the list, Twitter's Jack Dorsey. Quite honestly, just add Apple's Tim Cook to the list and you'd have the most recognizable names in the industry falling prey to something that would have seemed so unlikely years ago.
At the very least, there should be some solace in knowing that most of these hacks didn't occur because of pure negligence, as there were other factors involved. To date, all of the hacking incidents except for Iribe's can be attributed to OurMine, the three-man "security team" that puts the accounts of prominent tech industry players to the test. They claim to not do anything malicious with the account they hack, and they even go so far as to offer follow-up and data protection services to their victims.
Interestingly enough, all of these account breaches were done indirectly. Instead of straight-up brute forcing their way in, as stated before, there was some other factor involved. For example, when Zuckerberg's Twitter account was compromised last month, OurMine revealed it was able to do so mostly because of the massive leak of LinkedIn passwords back in May. Of course, even if that leak didn't occur, it was only matter of time that an account with the password "dadada" would be breached anyway.
Similarly, when OurMine used Pichai's Twitter account to send messages to his followers, that account was actually accessed using an old Quora account that was linked to it.
Now, it looks like similar methods were employed with Dorsey's Twitter account. The message posted by OurMine on Dorsey's account landed through Vine, suggesting that it had shared passwords or it had Twitter posting rights.
Even if it was done through roundabout methods, the lesson here is as clear as day: if a high-profile tech CEO can get hacked, then anyone is fair game. In other words, be careful with your passwords.
Fortunately, security experts have various tips to help in that department, such as using passwords that contain capital letters, normal characters, numbers and special characters, as well as using multiple passwords if you use several social media accounts. Changing your password every so often doesn't hurt either.