Hackers Hijack 'Jersey Shore' Twitter Accounts
The cast of MTV's 'Jersey Shore' pose.
If the crew of "Jersey Shore" seemed less obnoxious than usual on Twitter this past week, it's because a prolific team of troublemakers hacked them.
TeamHype, a group of hackers that enjoys targeting high-profile social media accounts, put the "Jersey Shore" cast in its sights. "All of them were targeted," TeamHype member Shadow told tech site Softpedia. "Sammi, Deena, Vinny, Pauly, Ronnie, JWoww and Snooki."
In the end, only five were hacked, because "Snooki isn't worth [fellow hacker] Trojan's time and he likes Pauly, so Pauly is safe," said Shadow.
Sammi was the first victim, although Trojan let her off relatively easy. He deleted all of her tweets, replaced her username with "Trojan The God," and drew attention to some of his friends by modifying Sammi's bio and retweeting his friends' information.
JWoww's tweets got to stay up, but her avatar didn't fare nearly as well: Trojan replaced it with a swastika. She recovered her account fairly quickly because Trojan did not change her username — whether he did not want to or simply did not have time is unknown.
Vinny and Deena got off easy, as Trojan compromised only their Instagram accounts. However, he was unable to infiltrate Deena's PayPal account, as he did not have the necessary credit card digits.
Needless to say, although the mess has now been sorted out, the "Jersey Shore" cast is pretty furious.
"Jennis (sic) page got hacked," wrote Roger Mathews, JWoww's fiancé, on his Twitter page. "Some nerd with a laptop in his moms (sic) basement needs a friend."
Trojan's stunt may have been childish, but there's every indication that the "Jersey Shore" cast did not adequately protect itself from cybercrime. Each cast member used a Yahoo email account (notorious for its low security) with an easy-to-guess security question. [See also: 9 Ways to Stay Safe Using PayPal]
Furthermore, the cast members generally only used one email address for all of their correspondence and social media tie-ins. "[Sammi] had other cast members (sic) phone numbers, and personal emails in her email which led Trojan to the other emails which just happened to be linked [to their Twitter accounts," Shadow said.
For the "Jersey Shore" cast, the ordeal is not quite over yet: Trojan still has access to a number of Twitter and email accounts, even though he is laying low for the time being. He may sell them off to the highest bidder, or fool around with them again or just ignore them and move onto the next target.
"Jersey Shore" is not exactly renowned for being the most intelligent show on TV, so don't fall prey to the same embarrassing tricks that its cast did. Use secure email services, employ hard-to-guess passwords and require two-step verification for your accounts.