Burger King’s social media manager has a whopper of a problem. This afternoon, a hacker or group of hackers took over the fast food chain’s Twitter account, and changed the account name to its greasy nemesis “McDonald’s.” The hackers also claimed in the account’s bio that Burger King had been bought out by McDonald’s “because the Whopper flopped.”
More than two hours after the first unauthorized tweet went live, @BurgerKing remained in the hacker’s hands. Twitter suspended the account at about 1:15pm ET, but not before the perpetrators managed to send out a flurry of offensive tweets, which were quickly retweeted thousands of times.
More than 20,000 people started following @BurgerKing while it was under the hackers’ control.
The perpetrator of the @BurgerKing account hijacking repeatedly called out @DFNCTSC, or the Defonic Team Screen Name Club, a group of hackers that broke into Paris Hilton’s Sidekick back in 2005 and released her racy photos onto the Web. One member of the group, a 17-year-old from Massachusetts, pled guilty to the hack in September 2005.
At one point, the hackers asked users to “follow us” with links to massively popular Anonymous Twitter account @YourAnonNews. A later tweet from @YourAnonNews stated that “the King has been dethroned.” So far, that’s the closest thing we have to an admission that @YourAnonNews was involved in the hack.
The King has been dethroned…
— Anonymous (@YourAnonNews) February 18, 2013
The first mention of the @BurgerKing hack appears to have come from Twitter user @57UN, or “Stun,” a self-described “Linux fanatic,” whose Twitter profile indicates that “she” is from the Netherlands. It’s not clear whether Stun had anything to do with the hack, or if she was simply one of the first to know about it. In a later tweet, Stun mentioned that, “if you’re a large multinational company, don’t make your password ‘whopper123.'”
Protip: If you’re a large multinational company, don’t make your password “whopper123”. @burgerking #BKHack #OpMadCow #Anonymous
— Stun ☠ (@57UN) February 18, 2013
It is also not yet clear who is in charge of Burger King’s Twitter account. The company has an internal media department. Another company, Coyne PR, also provides public relations services for Burger King. We have reached out to both Burger King and Coyne about the incident, but have not yet heard a response.
After Twitter had shut down Burger King’s account, McDonald’s sent out a tweet clarifying that it had “nothing to do with the hacking.”
We empathize with our @burgerking counterparts. Rest assured, we had nothing to do with the hacking.
— McDonald’s (@McDonalds) February 18, 2013
See some of the all-out mess below (some NSFW language):
- Twitter bans, then unbans account tracking Elon Musk’s jet
- Twitter to revamp verified accounts with a new label
- This Twitter vulnerability may have revealed owners of burner accounts
- How to delete your Twitter account
- Mass Twitter deactivations accompanied by jump in new accounts