Burger King Twitter Hacked
Burger King is the most recent victim in a growing web of high profile cyber-scams as it's twitter account is hacked. But unlike the most recent ones; this is actually quite funny.
Yesterday an unknown hacker broke into Burger King’s twitter account, changing the profile picture to a McDonald’s logo and the background to an image of the new McDonald’s Fish McBites, stating that Burger King ‘Just got sold to McDonald’s because the whopper flopped’. Lol.
A number of subsequent tweets containing racial slurs and obscenities were published before the site was suspended. But since the incident BK followers have increased by 20,000. There’s a silver lining to every cloud, right!?
A spokesman for Burger King said: "It has come to our attention that the Twitter account of BURGER KING(R) brand has been hacked. We have worked directly with administrators to suspend the account until we are able to re-establish our legitimate site and authentic postings. We apologise to our followers who have been receiving erroneous tweets about other members of our industry and additional inappropriate topics."
McDonald’s responded with a message posted on its own Twitter feed, which read: "We empathise with our @BurgerKing counterparts. Rest assured, we had nothing to do with the hacking." We bet it raised a few McSniggers, though.
Chinese military linked with hacking group
This is just the funny side of a very worrying trend, though, readers; Burger King hacking aside.The naughty antics of a gang dubbed ‘The Comment Group’ that specialise in ruining multi-billion dollar deals and interfering with national journalism - thus obstructing our dearly beloved free-speech - has been linked with the Chinese military. Crispy d**k! Now, that’s alarming.
Of course the Chinese government deny any involvement (but they would, right?) labelling the accusations as ‘groundless’. But the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the EU and Coca-Cola are some of the high profile names to link the hacking of their systems back to China. ‘Ah, but it could just be a criminal gang based in China doing this hacking’ I hear you declare. True, it could be, but here’s why it’s probably not.
Earlier this year the New York Times claimed they were being hacked for four months, with the attack coming to a head just before they published a major piece on former Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao. Suspicious. The attack bore many of the hallmarks of The Comment Group (so did the attack on the Wall Street Journal), whose methods are in turn associated with the Chinese military. Even more suspicious. The hackers also derailed a Coca-Cola acquisition bid worth £1.6 billion. The drinks giant was looking to take over Huiyan Juice Group (China’s largest soft drinks company). Hmmmmmm. Apparently they sent an email to Deputy President of Coca-Cola’s Pacific Group, Paul Etchells, which appeared to be from the company’s Chief Exec. A link in the email downloaded malware onto his machine which then allowed the hackers access to the system. A bit creepy, China, tbh.
"This Comment Group has been targeting a lot of companies that were in the process of being acquired or that a US company was trying to acquire in China," said Mr Blasco from security specialists, Alienvault.
"I have seen that in dozens of industries. They are trying to gain access to financial information."
The US Government regards The Comment Group as being ‘one of the most serious of all hacking threats originating from China’ and a leading US security firm have labelled a secret branch of China’s military service as ‘one of the world’s most prolific cyber espionage groups’. Several organisations, individuals and even governments have also admitted that they suspect China ‘of carrying out extensive cyber espionage over several years’.The security firm, Mandiant has said that UNIT 61398 of the Chinese military have most probably ‘systematically stolen hundreds of terabytes of data’ from at least 141 organisations from across the globe. The security firm traced these activities to a building in Shanghai used by this particular unit. Buuusted.
Mandiant admitted there could be one alternative explanation: that "a secret, resourced organisation full of mainland Chinese speakers with direct access to Shanghai-based telecommunications infrastructure is engaged in a multi-year, enterprise scale computer espionage campaign right outside of Unit 61398's gates, performing tasks similar to Unit 61398's known mission". Yeah. Likely.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei has said of the attacks: "Hacking attacks are transnational and anonymous. Determining their origins are extremely difficult. We don't know how the evidence in this so-called report can be tenable. Arbitrary criticism based on rudimentary data is irresponsible, unprofessional and not helpful in resolving the issue."
Mr Hong added that Beijing "firmly opposes hacking". Right. Not sure we believe you, Mr Hong.
It’s all very exciting, though, isn’t it? And it sounds like we’re on to them. Hurrah!
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