Skip to main content

Anonymous responds to Twitter account hacking by breaching State Department website

In an embarrassing turn of events for the notorious Internet activist collective Anonymous, one of its more popular Twitter accounts was hacked by a lesser known rival group.

Rustle League has confessed to hacking Anonymous' @Anon_Central account, which has over a million and half followers. The hack was short-lived, however, with Anonymous claiming it had regained control over the account in question three hours after the breach.

The incident, which follows several Twitter hacks in the recent days, including accounts for Burger King and Jeep, has raised further questions about social media security.

"The reason Anonymous fell victim is probably human weakness," said Sophos senior consultant Graham Cluley.

"Chances are that they followed poor password practices, like using the same password in multiple places or choosing a password that was easy to crack," Cluley added.

But Anonymous did not let the hack deter them. Hours after their account had been broken into, the hacktivist group revealed it had gained access to websites belonging to the US State Department and to investment firm George K. Baum & Company. The group published personal data belonging to some State Department staff members and linked to a database containing the investment firm's client and user account details.