Hacking the CEO with Social Media
If the super big wigs could get their social media accounts hacked, you can too. If you can believe it, the Twitter accounts of the following were recently hacked:
- Google CEO Sundar Pichai
- Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer
- Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe
- Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey
Shouldn’t these CEOs know how to prevent getting hacked? One little slip could let in the cybercriminals: reusing the same password.
Times have really changed. During the good ‘ol days, employees barely knew the CEO. Sometimes he was faceless, and at most, they received form letters from him…or her. Nowadays, company workers know the names of the CEO’s grandkids, new puppy, where they spent their last vacation, complete with photos.
CEOs want a human connection to their company’s worker bees and hence, many are very active on social media—so active, in fact, that they hardly think of security…like using old passwords for new accounts and/or using the same password for multiple accounts…and/or using an easily crackable password.
Other mistakes CEOs make:
- Posting personal information—way too much, more than enough for hackers to use against them.
- This includes names of kids and vacation destinations, details about hobbies, relatives and other personal data.
- Inclusion of personal information on a professional social media profile.
That may all sound innocent and just a way for CEOs to humanize themselves, but the more personal information they share with the world, the easier it is for cybercriminals to bust in. Crooks can often easily obtain the CEO’s e-mail and send a message that appears innocent, but has a link or attachment that the recipient is lured into clicking.
Once clicked, the attachment or e-mail unleashes malware, giving the crook control of the CEO’s computer. So even if the CEO has a unique and very strong and long password for each social media account, all it takes is a moment of having their guard down and hastily clicking a malicious link or attachment to get infected.
The hacker may have many motives for breaking into an account, and this includes posing as the CEO and posting items on the social media account with the hopes of damaging the CEO’s reputation.
Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video.