Three teenagers who make up the hacker group known as “OurMine” ran a cybersecurity clinic by infiltrating several of the biggest tech executives’ social media accounts recently.
One of the members of the hacker syndicate revealed to TechCrunch that their overarching mission is to promote better security practices by exposing even the most famous techies’ online vulnerabilities. Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels and Spotify CEO Daniel Ek have all been victims (or students in OurMine’s view) to the internet intrusions.
Pichai’s Quora account, a question-and-answer website that has Twitter capabilities, was hacked Sunday night. The tweet read “Hey,it’s OurMine,we are just testing your security, please visit OurMine to upgrade it.”
A member of OurMine was sure to stress that this was not due to a password being reused after a recent security breach, but rather because of a vulnerability.
Quora officials disagree and “are confident that Sundar Pichai’s account was not accessed via a vulnerability in Quora’s systems,” according to a statement. “This is consistent with past reports where OurMine exploited password leaks on other services to gain access to accounts on Twitter or Facebook. We also have no record of a report by OurMine pointing to a vulnerability.”
While other hacker brigades like 4chan appear to be indiscriminate internet “trolls,” OurMine strives to establish a quasi-business structure where they will sell their services. Compromising social media accounts is a way of advertising via ample amounts of publicity, exhibiting gumption, and proving that they can breach even some of the most well-known tech executives.
A member of the OurMine group told TechCrunch they have 34 customers so far and are dropping the price of “social media scanning” from $99 to $30.
Certain hackers are considered cybercriminals so earning the larger public’s trust might be a hard sell for OurMine.
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