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Hacking seems to be the buzzword of 2013 so far as another week goes by in which more high-profile companies fall victim to cyber-attacks.... The Flip Side of Getting Hacked

Hacking seems to be the buzzword of 2013 so far as another week goes by in which more high-profile companies fall victim to cyber-attacks.

Despite the major breach of two mainstream US brands’ Twitter accounts, both Burger King and Jeep responded on Twitter with upbeat comments – perhaps the thousands of new followers gained as a result, were worth the social media mayhem?

The Flip Side of Getting Hacked

The Burger King happy with all his new followers


Bizarre and at times offensive tweets popped up on the Twitter feeds of global fast-food chain Burger King last week after it was hacked.  But despite the palaver caused, the US-founded company gained more than 25,000 new followers.

As word quickly spread through the micro-blogging site that someone had allegedly guessed the ‘whopper 123’ password, I, like so many others, hopped onto the feed and naturally hit ‘follow’ to keep on track of what all the fuss was about.

Hacked and Rebranded

The background of Burger King’s Twitter page had been changed to an image advertising ‘McDonalds’ and tweets stated that McDonalds had bought Burger King.

Further comments were riddled with slang and at one point even a racist reference appeared. Picture tweets also featured an unappetising looking burger and a photo of an apparent ‘employee’ injecting drugs.

McDonald’s soon responded to the drama with a tweet that said: “We empathize with our @BurgerKing counterparts. Rest assured, we had nothing to do with the hacking.”

After Burger King, which now has more than 111,000 followers, managed to gain control of its site over an hour later, staff were quick to delete the former tweets and seemed rather chirpy in welcoming the thousands of new followers.

@BurgerKing said: “Interesting day here at Burger King, but we’re back! Welcome to our new followers. Hope you all stick around!”

Out of Control Jeep

The day after the hacking fiasco US car manufacturer Jeep, had its Twitter account temporarily hacked and tweets surfaced, stating that Jeep was being sold to Cadillac.

After the security violation, Jeep staff also seemed in high spirits and tweeted: “Hacking: Definitely not a #Jeep thing. We’re back in the driver’s seat!”

The day after the Jeep Twitter incident, BBC Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson also said he had his account hacked by spammers who proceeded to advertise diet products.

Twitters’ director of information security, Bob Lord, said that due to the recent discussions over account security on Twitter, it proved a prime time to remind users to watch out for suspicious links, use a strong password of at least 10 characters and to keep up-to-date with antivirus upgrades.

Despite the initial PR nightmare, was the hack bearable given the amount of publicity for Jeep and the whopping amount of new followers for Burger King?

[Image via nytimes]