Hack it Your Way

By Elena Zanone   Google+

Posted February 19, 2013

Yesterday hackers ran amok on Burger King’s Twitter feed, rebranding the profile as rival McDonalds’. Hackers managed to change the account name, banner, and logo to make it look like the feed was an official one from McDonalds now bashing its rival, including repeated allegations of drug use by Burger King employees.


The social stream hijacking lasted for hours before Burger King PR rep Bryson Thorton managed to work with Twitter to have the feed shut down.  

Thorton issued this statement: “We have worked directly with administrators to suspend the account until we are able to re-establish our legitimate site and authentic postings.” 

While the feed is down, screen grabs of tweets from the hacked account continue to circulate.

Burger King’s competitors took to social media to sympathize.

Wendy’s social media rep, Amy Rose Brown, tweeted, “My real life nightmare is playing out” on Burger King’s twitter feed.

McDonald’s also gave their condolences while cleaning their hands of the affair, stating “We empathize with out @BurgerKing counterparts. Rest assured, we had nothing to do with the hacking.” 

Amidst the fiasco, some pointed out that the hacking might actually be positive for the Burger King brand. New York Magazine reported that despite Burger King’s Twitter being locked during the hacking, followers jumped by nearly 20,000 to 105,000. Since the account has been revived, that number has continued to climb to 112,174 followers.

Afterwards Burger King tweeted, "Interesting day here at BURGER KING, but we're back! Welcome to our new followers. Hope you all stick around!" 

Burger King’s Thorton later issued a formal apology for the hack, saying, "Earlier today, our official BK Twitter Account was compromised by unauthorized users. Upon learning of this incident, our social media teams immediately began working with Twitter security administrators to suspend the compromised account until we could re-establish our brand's official Twitter page. We apologize to our loyal fans and followers, whom might have received unauthorized tweets from our account. We are pleased to announce that the account is now active again."

While not confirmed, the affair may be related to a report that cyber attackers hacked into Twitter on February 1 and, as acknowledged by Twitter, stole user names and passwords for 250,000 users. 

What do you think, could this end up giving a positive bump to the BK brand on social media? Share your opinions in the comments below! 


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