Created on: February 20, 2013
On Monday, Burger King made headlines not for its food but for its Twitter account. Someone had apparently hacked the fast food giant’s Twitter account and posted obscenities and changed the profile image to a McDonald’s logo.
After tweets were posted for an hour shortly after noon, Burger King had informed Twitter to suspend its account. About 55 tweets or so were published and had made references to drug usage, racial appellations and false information, such as “We just got sold to McDonald’s!”
Later on Monday, Burger King tweeted: “Interesting day here at BURGER KING, but we're back! Welcome to our new followers. Hope you all stick around!" The burger franchise tweets a few times a week to advertise special promotions or to ask its customers various questions relating to its products.
With the significant media attention, Burger King received more than 60,000 followers. Social media experts are now encouraging Burger King to keep that publicity alive and to take advantage of that additional attention, like offering free fries, urging people to visit their nearest Burger King and other incentives.
“Earlier today, our official BK Twitter Account was compromised by unauthorized users,” said Bryson Thornton, director of global communications at Burger King, in a statement provided to the Press. “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.”
McDonald’s posted a tweet that confirmed they had nothing to do with the hacking of its competitor’s Twitter account: “We empathize with our @BurgerKing counterparts. Rest assured, we had nothing to do with the hacking.”
Jeep was also a victim of a Twitter hacking Tuesday. Unauthorized users announced that the company had been “sold to Cadillac” and depicted an image of a fake Jeep CEO smoking drugs out of a lightbulb.
“Hacking: Definitely not a #Jeep thing. We’re back in the driver’s seat!” Jeep @BurgerKing Thanks BK. Let us know if you want to grab a burger and swap stories - we'll drive.”
Earlier this month, Twitter confirmed that cyber attackers may have stolen more than a quarter of a million usernames and passwords. Following the infiltration, the microblogging social media juggernaut notified the users that were affected.
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