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OurMine hacked Variety, power-spammed subscribers

Sep 04, 20163 mins
Data and Information SecuritySecurity

Hackers power-spammed Variety subscribers and another group reactivated suspended Twitter accounts with the hope of selling them.

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Credit: Thinkstock

Two different hacking groups, both which claim to be of the non-malicious variety, have been busy bringing suspended Twitter accounts back from the dead and power-spamming Variety subscribers.

OurMine hacked Variety, power-spammed subscribers

If folks who like news about Hollywood hadn’t heard of the hacking group OurMine, then some of them are very familiar with the group’s name now.

OurMine reportedly compromised Variety’s content management system around 9 am PT on Saturday and published a post which Engadget said was later removed, but the hacking collective’s antics didn’t stop there. Variety’s subscribers were hammered with spam.

On Saturday, Variety tweeted that it was looking into “unauthorized communications” being sent from Variety and asked users to delete or ignore any emails received by the entertainment magazine.

OurMine claimed it was “just testing” Variety’s security and urged the site to contact the group so it could “show you how to protect your website from other hackers.”

Shortly thereafter, Variety issued an apology and the following statement:

You may have received one or more emails from Variety with the subject line #Ourmine. Variety did not send those emails; please ignore and delete them. We are working diligently to contain the matter and will update you when the issues have been resolved.

If a Variety subscriber received just “one” spam email, then he or she should count themselves as lucky. Some subscribers said they had received “tons of emails.” Comments on Variety’s apology announcement included users claiming to have received 10, 22, 26, 27, 30, 33, and an “email every five minutes for two hours.” Another subscriber claimed to have received over 50 emails and included a screenshot as proof.

Variety launched an “internal investigation” into the hack and said it believed “the password of an employee linked to the Variety content management system was likely compromised. No Variety subscribers’ personal information was accessed.”

Suspended Twitter accounts back from the dead

Bet you didn’t think you’d see another tweet via @LizardSquad, but a group of hackers going by “Spain Squad” claimed to have an exploit which allowed them to bring suspended Twitter accounts back from the dead.

Whether trolling or just for the lulz, Spain Squad reactivated the suspended LizardSquad account and tweeted:

Spain Squad told Business Insider that it didn’t want to talk about the exploit so it wouldn’t get patched any time soon; the group claimed it could resurrect suspended Twitter accounts, suspend active accounts, as well as change active Twitter account names.

Ziter, a member of Spain Squad, tweeted some of the reactivated Twitter accounts which the group was interested in selling.

All of the accounts were re-suspended after Business Insider contacted Twitter.

SpainSquad’s Twitter account ironically has been suspended, but translations of what the group previously tweeted included, “You say you have security? Let me laugh a while.”

ms smith

Ms. Smith (not her real name) is a freelance writer and programmer with a special and somewhat personal interest in IT privacy and security issues. She focuses on the unique challenges of maintaining privacy and security, both for individuals and enterprises. She has worked as a journalist and has also penned many technical papers and guides covering various technologies. Smith is herself a self-described privacy and security freak.