Will Recent High Profile Twitter Hackings Scare Big Brands Away?

Remember the day Burger King became McDonald’s, Jeep became Cadillac, and MTV and BET switched places?

If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you probably already know none of this actually happened – it’s the result of a series of attacks hackers have been unleashing via Twitter.

In reality, MTV and BET just pulled a media publicity stunt, but Burger King’s and Jeep’s Twitter accounts were certainly hacked with control regained shortly after.

In a series of Tweets and photos, the temporary hacker management of Jeep’s account said that the company was sold to Cadillac because its employees and CEO were using drugs. Its bio was changed to “The official Twitter handle for the Jeep — Just Empty Every Pocket, sold to Cadillac… In a hood near you!”

After regaining control of their account, Burger King tweeted: “Interesting day here at BURGER KING, but we’re back! Welcome to our new followers. Hope you all stick around!”

This isn’t necessarily all bad news for these brands. After all, it draws attention to the brand and most people understand the accounts were hacked – resulting in damage control that involves a friendly tweet explaining the accounts were hacked.

The brands also had fun with the event. Burger King tweeted to Jeep: “Glad everything is back to normal.”

Jeep responded with, “Thanks BK. Let us know if you want to grab a burger and swap stories – we’ll drive” showing the humor and personality each brand has (take note otherwise less fun brands).

The news however does not bode well for Twitter. If high profile brands can have their accounts hacked so easily, what does that say for everyone else on Twitter?

At the beginning of the month, Twitter reported that hackers gained access to its internal information and compromised 250,000 accounts. Twitter reset passwords for those accounts, and urged “all users to take this opportunity to ensure that they are following good password hygine, on Twitter and elsewhere on the Internet.”

The nature of these hacks is unknown at the moment. It could be a serious security hole on Twitter’s end or the hackers could have compromised computers with access to the hacked accounts.

No matter what the source is however, Twitter has a busy future regaining user trust and confidence.

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