In light of the recent report detailing its willingness to pay US$250,000 in exchange for the 1.5 terabytes’ worth of data swiped by hackers from its servers, HBO finds itself dealing with yet another security breach.
Known for hijacking prominent social media accounts, the self-styled white hat hacking group OurMine took over a number of verified Twitter and Facebook accounts belonging to the cable network. These include accounts for HBO shows, such as “Game of Thrones,” “Girls,” and “Ballers.”
Figure 1. Screenshots of the hacked HBO Twitter accounts
The hackers posted the same message across all of the accounts, which read, “Hi, OurَMiَne are here, we are just testing your security ,HBO team please contact us to upgrade the security - ourmine .org -> Contact” (sic). They also tweeted, “let’s make #HBOHacked trending!”
The posts were deleted several minutes later.
This is not the first time that OurMine has claimed responsibility for hacking high-profile social networking accounts. Last year, the group victimized Marvel, The New York Times, and even the heads of some of the biggest technology companies in the world. Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, Sundar Pichai, and Daniel Ek — the CEOs of Facebook, Twitter, Google and Spotify, respectively — have also fallen victim to the hackers, dispelling the notion that a career in software and technology exempts one from being compromised.
Using complex and unique passwords for social networking accounts is not enough to make you completely safe on the internet. You must consider adding another layer of security such as two-factor authentication (2FA), which is a login method that requires two separate types of identification.
A combination of a memorized password and a unique code that comes in through SMS or a smartphone app gives more security than just having single-factor authentication in place. Better yet, fingerprint scanning can be used on supported devices for even more security.
If you’re a Twitter or Facebook user, you need only change your security settings to start using 2FA with your phone number. After setting up 2FA, you will be prompted to enter your password and the unique code sent to your phone number each time you log in.
You can also easily set up 2FA for other popular websites and online services.
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