Don't believe everything you read, especially if it's on Twitter. Jeep announced on Twitter that it was "sold to Cadillac" Tuesday and on Monday, Burger King merged with McDonald's -- not really; it was all part of an elaborate hacking hoax.
The group Anonymous, which is widespread and does not have much of allegiance to anyone, claimed responsibility.
In the cases of Jeep and Burger King, tech expert Shawn Busteed said that the hackers were just having some good old-fashioned fun. But, perhaps most alarmingly, he says there was really no way to stop the cyber pranksters.
Once Burger King became king of its Twitter domain again, an employee tweeted it has "been an interesting day here at Burger King." and, in the end, despite getting hacked, the hamburger chain happily swallowed up many more highly coveted Twitter followers.
Same story with Jeep.
"This particular case, it kind of worked out for the brand," says Wilson Tang, a tech security expert. "They regained control of their brand and had 30 percent more followers."
Back in the day, it was all about selling papers. And bad press was better than no press at all.
It seems, over the years, not much has changed, but now it's all about the twitter followers.
Maybe that is why networks MTV and BET pulled off a marketing stunt of their own, claiming to be hacked themselves.
"They jumped on board and purposely did it," Busteed said. "They acted like Twitter accounts got hacked and they put all this fake information to get added buzz, and picked up ton of total new followers."
So, if behemoth companies like Burger King and Jeep can get so easily hijacked in cyberspace, we wondered if it's just as easy to do to you.
"If you try hard enough with a username and password it's very easy to hack into a system," Tang says.
Busteed added: "It's just as easy to grab my Twitter account but at the end of the day no one really wants to tweet on my Twitter account of 500 followers."
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