Hackers took over Chrysler's Jeep Twitter account on Tuesday, sending
out colorful tweets disparaging the off-road vehicle and company
management just a day after Burger King's feed was similarly hijacked.
unidentified cyber-attackers replaced Jeep's logo with Cadillac's and
suggested Chrysler's iconic group had been sold to the General Motors Co
luxury brand, forcing Cadillac to clarify that it had nothing to do
with the hack on its own Twitter feed.
"The official Twitter
handle for the Jeep Just Empty Every Pocket. Sold to Cadillac. In a hood
near you!" read the tagline on Jeep's Twitter page.
no more Jeep production because we caught our CEO doing this," read one
tweet that linked to a picture of a man inhaling on what appeared to be a
A Cadillac spokesman in Detroit said the brand had no
official comment, other than to observe there was "some Twitter mischief
Ignite Social Media, the North Carolina-based agency
that manages Twitter and other social media accounts for most of
Chrysler's brands in North America, noticed the first unauthorized tweet
on Jeep's site at 1:32 p.m. ET Tuesday, according to Ed Garsten, head
of Chrysler digital media.
"They immediately contacted Twitter to
start the process to regain control of the account," Garsten said,
adding that the account was back under Chrysler's control in less than
"The agency and the company are looking at strengthening
security on the site," said Garsten. This would include stronger
passwords and other measures.
"We have no idea who did it. I
understand Twitter was especially prepared to deal with today's
situation because they just went through the process with Burger King."
breached the Twitter account of fast-food chain Burger King Worldwide
Inc on Sunday, posting the online equivalent of graffiti and forcing its
suspension for about an hour. The hackers also claimed the hamburger
chain had been sold to arch-rival McDonald's Corp.
Other companies took advantage of the attention surrounding the Twitter hackings to promote their own brands.
Inc's MTV sent out a message that it also had been hacked on its
official Twitter account with more than 6.6 million followers. But it
was just a prank, which was confirmed on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon.
BET, also owned by Viacom, pulled a similar stunt.
industry experts say has a poor track record on online security and
reliability, has over the past year begun courting big corporate
sponsors, hoping to beef up its revenue stream as it competes for Web
surfers with Google Inc and Facebook Inc.
Industry analysts have
urged the company for years to beef up online security by adopting
"two-factor authentication" or encrypting its website, among other
This month, anonymous hackers broke into Twitter and
possibly gained access to passwords and other information for as many as
250,000 user accounts.
"Twitter is like Facebook in that it
started as a way of sharing thoughts and friendships, and security seems
to be the antithesis of sharing. After all, how much damage can a
little 140-character message do?" said Murray Jennex, a cyber-security
expert at San Diego State University.
"That said, when business
saw an opportunity to do business using Twitter, that risk assessment
went away and, at that point, Twitter should have implemented a SecureID
or two-factor authentication login."
© Thomson Reuters 2013