OurMine Hacking Group Breaks into Google CEO's Quora Account
Three weeks after temporarily taking control of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's Twitter and Pinterest accounts, a hacker group called OurMine has broken into Google CEO Sundar Pichai's Quora and Twitter accounts.
Reported to be a three-person team, OurMine have also claimed to have hacked the social media accounts of Werner Vogels, chief technology officer and vice president of Amazon.com; Daniel Ek, co-founder and CEO of Spotify; writer Matthew Yglesias; and actor Channing Tatum.
The hacker group has also launched a new Web site promoting services that reportedly scan people's sites or social media accounts for vulnerabilities. It claims its takeovers of people's accounts are intended to test their security and promote its services.
'Just Testing' Security
In addition to gaining access to Pichai's Quora account on Sunday, OurMine was also able to autopost comments on that site via his linked Twitter account, which has 509,000 followers.
Claiming that Pichai's "security was really weak," the hackers posted screenshots of their messages on his accounts to their own Web site. In response to a Quora question about best applications and extensions for Gmail, the group replaced Pichai's response with the message, "Hey it's OurMine, we are just testing your security, please visit OurMine to upgrade it." The group's comments have since been removed from both Quora and Twitter.
Earlier this month OurMine hacked into Zuckerberg's seldom-used Twitter and Pinterest accounts. The group has also targeted various social media accounts belonging to former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo; blogger, Medium and Twitter co-founder Ev Williams; and YouTube celebrity PewDiePie.
First Sighted in 2015
Although OurMine's Twitter account was suspended after the group hacked into Zuckerberg's accounts, the team has reappeared on Twitter using a new account name.
Another hacker on Twitter reportedly linked OurMine's IP address to Saudi Arabia. However, the Mic Network reported Friday that in private messages the group said that none of its members hail from that country.
Last year, the content delivery network specialist Akamai described OurMine as a "relatively new" hacking group that first appeared on Twitter in March 2015. Akamai said the group has been responsible for a number of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on gaming services and financial service companies. In attacks on nine companies on July 22, the group reportedly achieved DDoS attack levels exceeding 117 gigabytes per second.
Now promoting online security services via its new Web site, OurMine told the Mic Network last week that it has earned $16,500 through those efforts. Its site lists a range of services priced from $30 to $5,000.
"OurMine told Mic in private messages that when it first started hacking accounts, it would get in, cull private data and store information," the publication reported Friday. "Now, it has rebranded as a 'security group,' claiming to only hack people in order to promote security and its own service, leaving behind a benign public message encouraging people to 'upgrade' or ask it for help."
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