Tesla has been the latest in a string of high profile hacking cases. Last Saturday, their web site and their Twitter account were hijacked. These reports were confirmed the very same day, which must have led to a very busy weekend and some sleepless nights for the IT professionals within the company.
Interestingly, an update was released a few hours later to state that the Twitter account of Elon Mus, CEO of Tesla, had also been hacked, albeit for a very brief period of time. This happened some two hours after the initial hack. The hack was announced by changing the Twitter name “Tesla Motors” to “#RIPRGANG”.
In a few minutes, the account tweeted to offer free cars to people, who followed specific accounts or by calling to the listed number. The number belonged to a computer repair shop in Illinois, and the hacker had wanted to flood the owner with calls.
Two specific accounts were also mentioned in the hack: @WheresAMP and @Raise90789.
At virtually the exact same time, the Tesla website also came under attack. The home page suddenly claimed to have been hacked, citing the same two accounts. Tesla immediately took the website offline, but it seemed the attackers were continuing their hack, as it appeared and disappeared again a number of times since the hack itself. The Twitter account was seemingly left open. The media are taking particular care to not like into any of the sites that were hijacked, as there are significant concerns that these sites may put the security of unsuspecting internet browsers at risk.
Around an hour after the Twitter account had been hacked, it was once again restored. At that time, however, the website continued to be offline. And it also continued to appear and disappear again.
There has been a string of high profile accounts on Twitter that have been hijacked, as well as a number of concerted hacking efforts directed against Google. The reality is that the majority of accounts with the highest numbers of followers have been hacked at some point or another and those that haven’t, including, until now, Tesla, can almost be guaranteed that hackers are working on it. Indeed, just a few weeks ago, the Instagram and Twitter accounts of Taylor Swift were hacked.
Taylor Swift’s Twitter and Instagram accounts were hacked Tuesday, with the perpetrators reportedly sending out a handful of tweets to the pop star’s over 51 million followers that were quickly deleted, according to The Verge. Swift is the owner of the fourth largest Twitter account, making this breach one of the biggest in Twitter’s history.
The group Lizard Squad took responsibility for this particular hack, although many question whether they are actually being copycats. Lizard Squad was responsible for a recent Google take over in Malaysia and Vietnam, and it seems beneath them to attack individual social media platforms. That being said, it is a possibility.
What is strange, however, is that Tesla saw not just their social media account hacked, but also their website. This would indicate that the issue is not one relating to a security failing within Twitter, or even a poorly made social media platform. This was an issue with Sony, for instance, who were hacked when it was revealed that the movie The Interview was not going to get pulled from cinemas.
Some suggest that the issue must be associated with the security within the Tesla servers. Others, on the other hand, suggest it is a DNS/domain redirection. This is the usual modus operandi of the Lizard Squad. Tesla has not yet commented on the issue.