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Burger King Twitter Hacked and suspended but screenshots live on

February 18, 2013 — by Brew6

Today the Burger King Twitter account was hacked and sent the first hacked tweet at 12:01PM eastern time.  Who and how the account got hacked is not known yet, but we do know that the hackers had the account for about 1 hour and 15 minutes.  In that time I was able to screenshot 22 public tweets, 11 replies, and several retweets.  The second I heard about the account being hacked, I jumped over to twitter and pulled up my screen capture tool.  Below I’ve included the screenshots, but before you scroll through them, let’s all agree on not calling this yet another social media fail please? If anything it might be a password protection, third party app, or phishing scheme lesson.

The question I have is about community management, since that’s what we discuss here.  Could this have been stopped earlier or been prevented altogether had a community management team been actively on the Twitter account, engaging with users during lunch time?  We often discuss the differences of community management and social media marketing on our Friday hangouts here.  Simply posting tweets and replying to a handful of people a few times a day is more of a “set-it and forget it” marketing strategy.  Social media is real time, and conversations happen in real time.  Why aren’t more brands taking part in the real time conversations?

The following are the public tweets that were available during the time of the hack.  Please excuse the timezone jump between the screenshots – I had jumped to a new browser half way through the screenshot process to a different account on a different browser.  You can click on each image to get the full view.

Main Page Burger King Twitter Account Hacked

 

Burger King Twitter Hacked Tweet 1

 

Burger King Twitter Hacked Tweet 2

 

Burger King Twitter Hacked Tweet 3

 

Burger King Twitter Hacked Tweet 4

 

Burger King Twitter Hacked Tweet 5

 

Burger King Twitter Hacked Tweet 6

 

Burger King Twitter Hacked Tweet 7

 

Burger King Twitter Hacked Tweet 8

 

Burger King Twitter Hacked Tweet 9

 

Burger King Twitter Hacked Tweet 10

 

Burger King Twitter Hacked Tweet 11

 

Burger King Twitter Hacked Tweet 12

 

Burger King Twitter Hacked Tweet 13

 

Burger King Twitter Hacked Tweet 14

 

15Burger King Twitter Hacked Tweet 15

 

16

 

Burger King Twitter Hacked Tweet 17

 

Burger King Twitter Hacked Tweet 18

 

Burger King Twitter Hacked Tweet 19

 

Burger King Twitter Hacked Tweet 20

 

Burger King Twitter Hacked Tweet 21

 

Burger King Twitter Hacked Tweet 22

And for the replies:

Burger King Twitter Hacked Reply Tweet 1

Burger King Twitter Hacked Reply Tweet 2

Burger King Twitter Hacked Reply Tweet 3

Burger King Twitter Hacked Reply Tweet 4

Burger King Twitter Hacked Reply Tweet 5

Burger King Twitter Hacked Reply Tweet 6

Burger King Twitter Hacked Reply Tweet 7

Burger King Twitter Hacked Reply Tweet 8

Burger King Twitter Hacked Reply Tweet 9

Burger King Twitter Hacked Reply Tweet 10

Burger King Twitter Hacked Reply Tweet 11

and McDonalds had empathy….

 Empathy

and Wendy’s contribution…

Wendys

Brew

Director of Awesome at BTC Revolutions
Brew is an expert in building communities that blend online and offline communications. As a constant learner, and a self-proclaimed “geek translator” and “destroyer of silos”, his passion is connecting like-minded people from various disciplines including HR, IT, Marketing, and Sales. Follow Brew on twitter @houseofbrew and peek into his brain at houseofbrew.com
  • tombuchheim

    Good point, Brew. Active community management w

  • tombuchheim

    Good point, Brew. Active community management likely would’ve caught this much sooner. I’m not sure how Burger King handles Twitter, but if it’s through an agency, the risk of hacking is even higher. It strengthens my argument for in-house management of owned social channels, especially high-profile ones with large communities. It’s also another reminder why a good relationship with your Twitter rep is a must. Have them on speed dial for potential emergencies like this.

    • @tombuchheim Agreed. I saw this occurring yesterday, but never thought about the time it happened. If it’s during lunch anytime in the U.S., someone on the social media team should be seeing this more promptly.

  • philgerb

    Any active management would have likely caught this much faster than a set it and forget it plan. But how much sooner? And I’m curious how this actually happened. I don’t see how these tweets were sent, so I’m curious if the account got hacked, the management tool password was compromised, or if someone stole a cookie and used that to pass through to the account.
    @tombuchheim – whether this account is managed internally or not is irrelevant to this discussion if the password for the Twitter account was compromised. It’s actually a much more likely scenario thay some entry level marketing employee clicked a spammy link and gave up the password than some experienced community management team did the same, IMO.

  • Jessica Masterson

    It is a reminder to have a good relationship with your Twitter rep, but we all know there is no Twitter 911. Last I checked account reps get bathroom breaks, lunch breaks, sick days, emergenices, etc. It’s a good reminder for everyone to push for more stringent authentication on Twitter’s part and revisit your own security policies internally or with your agency. Also, to loop back with their Twitter rep & crisis management team on how we all can mitigate this type of risk through proactive measures and what’s Plan B when it still happens anyway. – Jessica Masterson awomanswork

  • susanavello

    Wow, you make a valid point. I think this could have totally been stomped out if they had actually been closely monitoring.