On late Sunday, USA Today’s official account on Twitter was taken over by the hacking group known as the Script Kiddies. Representatives of USA Today quickly regained control of the account with help from Twitter. While no fake news post was distributed over the USA Today account, the hacking group used the platform of about 170,000 followers to brag about hacks on other prominent accounts and attempted to promote a recently created Facebook fan page for the group. Previous to Sunday’s hack, the most recent hack by the Script Kiddies occurred around the anniversary of the September 11 attacks. After hacking the account of NBC News, the group distributed a fake news post to about 140,000 followers that a new attack occurred at Ground Zero.
The NBC News hack caught the attention of the FBI and Twitter’s internal investigation puts the blame at email hacking instead of a flaw in Twitter’s security. Previous to the NBC News hack, the group hacked the official account of Fox News and tweeted to about 1 million followers that an assassination attempt on President Obama occurred in Iowa. Security analysts believe that the hackers used a spyware Trojan horse to log keystrokes. During the FBI investigation of the NBC News hack, only three executives had knowledge of the password to the official Twitter account. It’s believed that NBC News’s director of social media simply typed out the password when normally logging into the account and the virus recorded the password.
While Facebook previously removed the last fan page for the Script Kiddies, the recently created fan page still seems to be active. However, Twitter has suspended and likely deleted the @script_kiddiez_ Twitter account. Twitter also closed the previous Twitter feed for the hacking group uner the name of @S_Kiddies. The group is unofficially affiliated with the Antisec movement as well as Anonymous and LulzSec.
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