Rahul Gandhi is not the first big personality whose social media account has been compromised by hackers. He would certainly not be the last, for the hackers do not seem much behind than cyber security experts in foiling each other’s games. Recently, Hillary Clinton’s e-mails leaked by hackers hit her Presidential campaign hard. Some may find it surprising but even top tech honchos like Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg have not been left untouched by hackers.
In fact, Mark Zuckerberg’s social media accounts have been hacked three times this year. In November, a hackers’ group called ‘OurMine’ had attacked the Facebook’s founder’s Pinterest account. In June, the same group had hacked Zuckerberg’s Twitter account. According to Forbes, password re-use had made it easy to target Zuckerberg’s Twitter account in Zune.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s Quora and Twitter accounts were hacked in June. OurMine had claimed the credit for the attack. According to the Fortune, OurMine says it hacks accounts of personalities only to highlight security concerns. It also reportedly offers security services to some of their victims. Social media accounts of several other CEOs of tech companies like Marissa Meyer of Yahoo, Travis Kalanick of Uber have also been hacked.
In past, hackers have also targetted personalities like US politician Sarah Palin, UK’s labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’ have also been victimised by hackers. Corbyn’s Twitter account was hacked in January this year and the attackers left a number of abusive posts before they were removed. The then US Vice-Presidential candidate in 2008, Sarah Palin’s personal email accounts were hacked by one David Kernell, who was caught and convicted.
Rahul Gandhi may also take solace from the fact that celebrities like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Amitabh Bachchan are also in the not so illustrious list of high-profile personalities victimised by hackers.
The frequent hacking incidents do, however, show vulnerable the online accounts of common people can be at a time when India is trying to leapfrog to a digital age.
(With agency inputs)