Social media has become the main way in which people talk with one another, and a way for potential customers to reach out to business of interest. However, social media has always become a target for hackers and other criminals who are looking to not only steal identities via these social networks, but to cause mass confusion and other issues.
There are big businesses, individuals and even government organizations that are at a risk for getting their social media hacked. And when this happens, it can result in severe damages. And it seems that the latest social media attacks on companies and people are believed to be from ISIS.
There are several attacks throughout the news everyday about social media being hijacked and being used for someone’s purpose. However, probably the most significant attack that has been seen recently is the attack on US Central Command social media channels.
When the Twitter and YouTube accounts of the US Central Command were hijacked at the end of January of this year, they were soon taken offline, but not before the hackers utilized these channels for sending a message.
According to the Washington Post, it seems that the hackers were a group of Islamic State sympathizers that were looking to cause an uproar within the US. In a statement, the military stated:
“CENTCOM’s operation military networks were not compromised and there was no operational impact to U.S. Central Command…”
According to reports, the government is still looking to see just who was behind this attack, or if it was really meant to be an attack or a simple prank.
Even small television stations are not safe from social media attacks. A small station in Salibsury, Maryland, WBOC was compromised via social media and apparently, these were also attacks from an ISIS group. What is strange about this attack is that the WBOC station has a small following of only about 18,000 Twitter followers. Thus, it did not seem as a big target. But, this goes to show that when it comes to hacking social media, no one is safe.
In the tweets that the hackers were able to post, according to The Baltimore Sun, one tweet read “CyberCaliphate….i love you isis.”.
The television station is still trying to figure out how the hackers were able to get into their social media, and thus far have said that 4 accounts have been compromised within their team.
Around the same time that WBOC was being attacked, The Albuquerque Journal located in New Mexico was attacked. This paper had a relatively small following on Twitter, much like WBOC.
The tweets were taken down immediately, but there is still no word on how the ISIS group was able to get into the social media channel. Nancy Tipton, a staff members for the Journal has said:
“At this point we’re working to secure things.”
There have been no further comments on the event. In late December of 2021, the newspaper also had its entire website hacked by ISIS groups, stating that they knew every member of the community and went so far as to say they knew the daily habits of its members. Needless to say, this was shocking and frightening news for the community to hear.
There are numerous things that you can do to avoid being hacked with your social media. Though you may not think that your profiles are going to be hacked, the small time paper and news station also didn’t think that they were vulnerable. Though your social media profile may not be targeted by ISIS, there are still many online criminals who hack into personal social media accounts for fun. So here is what you can do:
1. Do not fall for phishing scams in which they try to get you to give them your information
2. Always keep your password safe and secure
3. Change your password frequently
4. If you do get hacked, immediately contact authorities and shut down the site for the mean time
There are things you can do to ensure you are not the victim of being hacked. But, you still need to be aware that this can happen. Social media is great, but there are several pitfalls that everyone must be aware of with this media.