Google CEO Sunder Pichai’s Quora account was hacked. He is the latest victim of a group of hackers that specializes in compromising social media accounts of high-profile personalities. Incidentally, Pichai’s account was hacked by the same group that hacked into Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Twitter and Pinterest accounts a few days earlier.
Sunder Pichai’s Quora account was recently hacked by a reportedly three-member hacker group that calls itself OurMine. The group managed to take control of the Quora account and posted several messages under the Google CEO’s name. Moreover, since Pichai’s Quora account was linked to his Twitter account, all the posts were published as tweets. As of the last count, Pichai has more than 500,000 followers on Twitter. All the tweets posted by the hacker group have been taken down, but the group did manage to grab some attention.
It is not immediately known how the group managed to gain access to Pichai’s Quora account. Quora is essentially a community-driven question-answer platform. Founded in 2009, the website allows experts to answer queries, and then people can vote on the answers. The platform is open to all sorts of queries and doesn’t specialize in any particular topic.
OurMine has been hacking into accounts of some major personalities connected with the tech world. Besides hacking into the Twitter and Pinterest accounts of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the group recently targeted Daniel Ek’s Twitter account. Ek is Spotify’s founder and CEO, reported Tech Mic.
Interestingly, the hacker group doesn’t appear to have any malicious intent behind hacking the accounts of these illustrious personalities. After hacking into Ek’s Twitter account, the group sent out just one tweet, which informed the people they were testing the security. The group even added their website in the tweet and urged the victims to visit it to upgrade their security.
The group isn’t breaching the system or breaking security of the platforms. Instead, the group claims that it uses various exploits to pull passwords from celebrities’ browsers, reported the Next Web.
It seems the group intends to rebrand itself as a security firm, reported the Times of India. However, instead of offering a software product, the members of the group are offering their expertise to their victims so that such breaches do not occur in the future. The group has added that it hacks people’s accounts in order to promote security and its own service. That’s why they leave behind their website address, encouraging their victims to upgrade or ask it for help.
— Jack Goff (@OGsnapshotchris) May 23, 2016
The group claims it never alters any settings or profile information of its victims’ accounts. They claim it is better they hack into the system and leave everything as it is, rather than have other groups hack them and take undue advantage.
The website operated by OurMine offers a paid service, where you can get your website, personal account, or even an entire digital corporate infrastructure scanned for security vulnerabilities or loopholes that can be potentially exploited by ill-intentioned individuals or groups.
While hacking social media accounts of famous tech personalities may not be the ideal way to promote a service that extends protection against these very acts, OurMine appears to have put forth a convincing act. While the individual social media platforms do assure their services and the user data is constantly protected against hacking attempts, OurMine broke into quite a few accounts just to prove their point and show the systems are indeed vulnerable to security breaches.
In the case of Sunder Pichai’s Quora account, OurMine claims it exploited a vulnerability in the platform. Moreover, the group added that it did report the security loophole to Quora but hasn’t received any response yet.
[Photo by David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/Getty Images]