Google's Sundar Pichai latest target of social media hackers (updated)

OurMine group apparently got access to the CEO's Twitter account using a vulnerability in Quora.

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Associated Press
Associated Press

Hacking group OurMine is continuing to make some of the tech industry's elite look more than a little silly. After a string of high-profile hacks, including recent takeovers of social media accounts belonging to Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, the team appears to have successfully targeted Google CEO Sundar Pichai. A now-deleted string of tweets seems to confirm a breach of his Quora profile, which then allowed OurMine to post to Pichai's Twitter feed thanks to the two accounts being linked.

Unlike the Zuckerberg hack, which has been put down to his use of seriously simple, common password exposed by the 2012 LinkedIn breach, OurMine claims to have found a vulnerability in Quora -- a Q&A-themed social network. In a statement to The Next Web, the hacking team says it has shared details of the security hole with Quora, but hasn't heard back. [See update below.]

Aside from bragging rights, OurMine looks to be targeting celebrities and big names in tech to promote its sideline as a digital security firm. Services include a probing of your social media accounts for vulnerabilities for a mere $100. Pre-paid, of course.

Update: Quora's Head of Outreach Nadia Singer has responded with an official comment, claiming the breach was likely the result of Pichai using the same password across multiple services, rather than a flaw in Quora's security: "We are confident that Sundar Pichai's account was not accessed via a vulnerability in Quora's systems. This is consistent with past reports where OurMine exploited previous password leaks on other services to gain access to accounts on Twitter or Facebook. We also have no record of a report by OurMine pointing to a vulnerability." Singer and Quora are reminding users to unique passwords on their various services.

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