Just recently, popular YouTube accounts were hacked in a bid to raise security awareness amongst users.
The targeted accounts were mainly of individuals with a massive following and the capacity to drive the message home.
During the hack, only the names of YouTube videos were altered and no further damages were made.
For instance, the hashtag #OurMine was at the beginning of every video that belonged to a compromised account.
The YouTube accounts affected include Multi-channel network (MCN) and Omnia.
Some of the channels under MCN are those of RomanAtwoodVlog which currently has slightly more than 12 million subscribers, JustKiddingNews with 1.6million subscribers, and Wranglerstar with slightly more than 500 thousand subscribers.
Others accounts affected include: Nightblue3 with 1.8million subscribers, Leafy is here with4.4million, fox drop with 550 thousand, Kiandymundi with just 176 thousand, and Lilly Singh (AKA IISuperwomanII) with a whopping 11.4 million views
According to multiple sources, the message displayed at the beginning of each compromised video stated that it was OurMine testing the account owners’ security and to contact them for more information.
After the hack, some of the account owners sent out tweets to their followers to explain the situation at hand and that it is nothing to worry about, as efforts to put it back in place were underway.
The group, known as OurMine, advertises and markets itself as a cyber security firm.
The group intends to make people understand the risks associated with cyber activities and also make people realize that they are not safe on the internet; therefore, precaution is key based on the activities that one carries out.
In a bid to increase its popularity, the group has targeted prominent personalities and taken responsibility for several hacks that have happened over time.
Following the hacks on prominent CEOs and other personalities in the tech industry, Fortune compiled a list of the names of the individuals and the respective companies in an article titled “A Definitive List of Recently ‘Hacked’ CEOs and Celebrities”.
In the list, there were names of personalities such as: Brendan Iribe (Oculus), Mark Zuckerberg(Facebook), SundarPichai(Google), Werner Vogels(Amazon), Martin Shkreli(formerly of Turing Pharmaceuticals), Jack Dorsey (Twitter), Daniel Ek(Spotify), and Travis Kakanick(Uber).
These individuals are just some of the victims whose accounts have been compromised by OurMine, according to Fortune.
Since the notorious group claims it does not do any harm to your account, the may engage themselves in particular things just to prove that they have compromised the platform and indeed show that the system is vulnerable.
Changing account status, profile names, profile pictures and updating other minor information are some of the things done by the group just to show that accounts are not secure enough and that it is worth hiring their services to get a solution that will raise your level of security on the internet regardless if you are a single entity or a large organization.
Similar methods are also common with other hacking groups, though few have made such an impact.
Essentially, the group has labeled itself as a cyber security company with its sole purpose being to do more harm than good.
In IT terms, it commonly referred to as white hat hacking.
They conduct activities such as penetration testing to determine the vulnerability of clients’ systems.
By doing this, they can get hitches and try to find the appropriate solution to avoid damages or losses in future.
The flaws in a system will cause damages if infiltrated by a blackhat hacker, as their sole purpose is to make away with crucial information will be used against their victim or cause other damages.
Therefore, the victim will suffer a major setback as a result of black hat hackers.
It is for this reason that OurMine tries to exploit social media platforms and establish flaws without causing considerable harm to the users.
By perpetuating this, they can market themselves as a leading cyber security company with the ability to improve end-user safety.
Of course, this can be done after studying a system and carrying certain tests on it.
It is known that the group uses accounts such as Pinterest, LinkedIn, Quora, and Bitly to get to other platforms.
It mainly occurs if the accounts are synchronized to each other, as most people tend to use the same passwords so that they can have an easy time remembering it.
Likewise, if a site uses an API to accept another site’s login to establish a profile, the victim may have several accounts compromised at once.
As much as leading social media sites come up ways of beefing up security for its users, there are always people out there working to establish the flaws.
Critics may argue that the group is a desperate attention seeker that seeks to gain publicity by exchanging tirades with the ‘who’s who’ in the society in a bid to make themselves famous.
Whereas other would view them as individuals seeking to establish and take security to a deeper level by offering their services.
After the YouTube hack, their website is believed to have gone down because it could not handle the increased amount of visitor traffic.
It even prompted some individuals to tweet about the issue because, as one would expect, if you can hack a large company like YouTube (now a Google subsidiary), then your site should be able to handle the traffic flow.
With this said, it is evident that users need to take further steps to ensure their online security.
Because of this, it is evident that no one is safe on the internet, contrary to popular belief.