Google’s Sundar Pichai has been hacked - which CEO will be next?

The hacking group OurMine said it plans to target more tech execs and celebrities

Google CEO Sundar Pichai has become the latest tech executive to have a social media account hacked, and the group responsible says more targets will follow.

On Sunday, a group of hackers calling themselves OurMine briefly took over Pichai’s account on Quora, a question-and-answer site.

"We are just testing your security,” the hackers wrote, with the same message auto-posted via Quora to Pichai’s Twitter account. On Monday, the posts had been deleted.

OurMine is the same group that hacked the social media accounts of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg earlier this month, and they've claimed other victims too, including the CEO of Spotify and a prominent Amazon executive.

The hacks have been fairly innocuous so far, with no major repercussions or sensitive data stolen. But Silicon Valley types are likely wondering who'll be next.

In Zuckerberg's case, the hackers claimed to have broken in by finding his password, “dadada,” which was exposed in a breach at LinkedIn. In Pichai’s case, OurMine only said that “his security was really weak.” The group posted information about the hack on its website.

OurMine said via email that it would continue to hack the accounts of tech executives and celebrities. Last week, the group claimed to have taken over the Twitter accounts of movie star Channing Tatum and of Daniel Ek, the CEO of Spotify, and posted screenshots.

On Monday, the group hit the Twitter account of Amazon CTO Werner Vogels. In a tweet, Vogels said it was actually his Bitly account that had been compromised.

So far, it seems the hacks are more of a publicity stunt. The group has tweeted that users can upgrade their security by purchasing OurMine’s services.

For $100, the group claims it can improve the security of social media accounts. For $1,000, it will scan a website for vulnerabilities.

"We are just trying to tell everyone that nobody is safe!” OurMine said via email. Some accounts were broken into because of weak passwords, others because of some "vulnerability," the group added, without specifying. OurMine claimed to have made $18,400 so far selling its services.

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Michael Kan

IDG News Service
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