The year 2016 became nightmarish for some public figures who use social media platforms, mainly Twitter, to express their opinion as wide range of celebrity Twitter handles reportedly got compromised during the year.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, singer Katy Perry and industrialist Vijay Mallya became one of the most noted victims of this kind of cyber attack on their personal Twitter accounts.
Not just the people, hacking also give tough moments to web streaming sites like Netfilx, sending a string of tweets saying it was testing security.
Here is a look at some of the hackings that took the web and the political world by storm:
The official Twitter account of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was hacked on November 30 at around 8pm and multiple abusive tweets were posted on it. Several tweets were posted on the handle in quick succession.
The tweets were deleted in about an hour, but new ones came up immediately after that. The hackers also managed to remove Rahul’s profile picture and changed the title of the account from @OfficeOfRG to an abusive one.
Initially, it appeared that the issue has been resolved, but tweets from the hacker appeared to continue streaming onto his account.
A day after, Rahul’s account was hacked again along with his party’s official Twitter handle- @INCIndia. It was reportedly hacked by the same group that took over Rahul’s account. The group that called itself ‘Legion’ also sent out some abusive tweets from both the handles.
On December 9, industrialist Vijay Mallya’s Twitter account was hacked allegedly by the same group.
In a series of tweets, the group gave out addresses, phone numbers, email IDs and passwords that they claimed belonged to Mallya. The group also tweeted out his alleged investment details and a document that claimed to list out his overseas assets.
The 60-year-old liquor baron left the country days before banks approached the courts to seek orders restraining him from going abroad over huge unpaid loans by his group.
In yet another attack on high-profile Twitter accounts, noted journalist Barkha Dutt’s handle was hacked on December 10. The same ‘Legion’ group claimed responsibility for the incident.
As per reports, hackers also tweeted out Barkha Dutt's email address and its password on her timeline. Some offensive tweets were also made but deleted within a few minutes.
‘Legion’ group had another go a day after when it took over senior journalist Ravish Kumar’s handle. Though the tweets from the handle are now deleted, the hacking group had warned that their next action will be against former IPL chairman Lalit K Modi.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg too suffered some nervous moments when his Twitter and Pinterest accounts briefly hacked in June this year. A hacker group OurMine claimed the responsibility for the breach.