Friday, March 22, 2013

If hackers can get into accounts of high profile people, what does that mean for you?

Webnotes by: Theresa Payton, Fortalice, LLC. Content also covered on WBTV's "Protecting Your Cyberturf" segment, featuring Kristen Miranda and Theresa Payton.

First we heard that the Bush Family had a hacker break in and post their personal emails and pictures. Then Burger King hat their Twitter account hijacked...followed by 12 people, including the Vice President Biden and the First Lady had their credit profiles posted online. Now Colin Powell's Facebook account has been hacked. If they aren’t safe, are you?

In case you missed it, Colin Powell is the latest in a long string of public figures that has been hacked. The hackers posted messages such as “YOU WILL BURN IN HE--,BUSH” and “KILL THE ILLUMINATI!” Powell actually tried to warn his followers as the hack was in progress. This left the hackers to reply, “PUT A CURSE ON THE FINGER WHICH YOU USE TO DELETE THESE POSTS!!!”

Colin Powell sent out a public apology: “I’m sorry you have to see all the stupid, obscene posts that are popping up,” he told his followers.

Cyber expert, Theresa Payton, gives us some tips on how to avoid being the next victim.


Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell had his Facebook account taken over. The hackers posted a series of out-of-character messages.

The hacker actually took the photographs they stole from the Bush family, and posted some of them onto Colin Powell’s Facebook page.

Facebook security has stepped in and has suspended the page to restore it to it’s rightful owner.

As of right now they believe the way the hacker got in was through social engineering and guessing the password.


Although none of these methods will 100% guarantee a hacker will get in, these will help

1. A different password and strong password for every account

2. Have more than 1 email address that you use to separate your social media accounts from your home email and from your online purchases

3. Wherever available, use 2nd factor authentication which means you only access the service from a trusted computer or by typing in a code sent to your mobile phone

4. Think twice before linking accounts

5. Click with care so you don’t infect your computer or get your account taken over.

6. Never click on links in emails that tell you to change your social media network’s password.


It’s cybercrime slang for taking the documents of famous people and exposing them online.

They “doxed” them or the act of doing it is called “doxing”.


If your Facebook account is hacked, go here and follow these steps:

Strong Password Tips:

1. Create a phrase and choose the first letters of each word; use upper and lower case

2. Use special characters and numbers to replace letters

3. Make up a different phrase and password for each site


I use Facebook to keep up with my kids.

Step 1: The first letters: IuFtkuwmk

Step 2: The replacement of letters with numbers and characters:


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