McHacked: Burger King Twitter hack a reminder on choosing strong passwords

1:31 PM, Feb 18, 2013   |    comments
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KUSA - Burger King's Twitter account was hacked Monday morning. The account's name was changed to "McDonald's" and was given a McDonald's makeover.

The hacked account started Tweeting messaging, such as "We just got sold to McDonalds! Look for McDonalds in a hood near you." Some of the Tweets also include profanity, links to YouTube videos, and ReTweets on the reaction to the hacked account.

The account, which was suspended less than 90 minutes after the hack, gained around 30,000 new followers and became a trending topic on Twitter.

The words "Burger King" and "McDonald's" became worldwide Twitter trends.

As Twitter users began to notice the hack and Tweet about it, a rumor popped up that the hack was due to an easy password. This has not been confirmed.

"An easy password may not have been how the account was hacked, but this is a good reminder to check the security of your passwords for any online accounts you may have, from email to Twitter," says Misty Montano, 9NEWS Digital Content Manager.

Here are some tips from Google to creating a strong and secure password:

Tips for creating a secure password:

  • Include punctuation marks and/or numbers.
  • Mix capital and lowercase letters.
  • Include similar looking substitutions, such as the number zero for the letter 'O' or '$' for the letter 'S'.
  • Create a unique acronym.
  • Include phonetic replacements, such as 'Luv 2 Laf' for 'Love to Laugh'.

Things to avoid:

  • Don't reuse passwords for multiple important accounts, such as Gmail and online banking.
  • Don't use a password that is listed as an example of how to pick a good password.
  • Don't use a password that contains personal information (name, birth date, etc.)
  • Don't use words or acronyms that can be found in a dictionary.
  • Don't use keyboard patterns (asdf) or sequential numbers (1234).
  • Don't make your password all numbers, uppercase letters or lowercase letters.
  • Don't use repeating characters (aa11).

Tips for keeping your password secure:

  • Never tell your password to anyone (this includes significant others, roommates, parrots, etc.).
  • Never write your password down.
  • Never send your password by email.
  • Periodically test your current password and change it to a new one.


(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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