The string of hacks against high-profile tech leaders continue unabated. After the Quora account of Google CEO Sundar Pichai, the Pinterest account of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and the Twitter accounts of Uber chief Travis Kalanick and Twitter boss Jack Dorsey, the latest in line to have had his online social media account hacked into is the CEO of Niantic Labs, Mr. John Hanke (@johnhanke). For the uninitiated, Niantic Labs happens to be the developers of the wildly popular augmented reality game, Pokemon GO, which is based on characters popularized by Japanese video game company, Nintendo. The organization behind the latest hack is apparently OurMine, the same folks who are believed to have carried out the previous hacks as well. One critical thing to remember here is that there are no reports of any malicious or derogatory posts of any kind from either Mr. Hanke’s compromised Twitter account or from any of the other hacks that OurMine claimed credit for.
Having wrested control of Mr. Hanke’s account, the group send out a bunch of tweets with the hashtag #OurMine, including one that claimed the hack was for Brazilian Pokemon GO fans who are yet to get the game released officially in their country. Yet another tweet claimed that Mr. Hanke was using ‘nopass’ as his Twitter password prior to the hack. Either way, the matter now seems to have been settled, and the tweets that were allegedly posted by OurMine, deleted. So it’s quite possible that the account has now been returned to its rightful owner, although, there’s no confirmation on that front from any of the parties involved. Meanwhile, there’s been no new tweet in the timeline since July 23rd now that the OurMine posts are no longer accessible.
For those unfamiliar with the OurMine, it is a group based out of Saudi Arabia that claim to be in the business of assessing social network account security of users, which is why the recent hacks – including this latest one - seem to be more of a marketing stunt than a malicious attack of any kind. The group also claimed responsibility for hacking into the WikiLeaks website last month following a long-standing spat with hacking group, Anonymous. While the site was back up not long after it was taken down this time around, it took WikiLeaks a lot longer to get up and running last December, when OurMine had fired off its first DDoS attack against the site.