Around 7:30pm CST on Sunday, Aug, 18, 2013, I got a text that said, hey your Twitter account is sending out crazy tweets, change your password. I didn’t think it was a big deal because I hadn’t tweeted from the account in a while but I do know that it’s not difficult to get your Twitter account hacked so I headed to my laptop to fix the issue. Prior to making it to the laptop I got two additional texts and a phone call which meant the issue wasn’t small and wasn’t just my personal account. What transpired was an issue that seems to have came out of nowhere and just as quickly disappeared back from whence it came. My Hootsuite.com account, that manages my social media networks and two very large ministries that I work with (one with over 3 million social media fans and another with around 100 thousand social media fans) was hacked and sent out two spam email links. My first thought was damage control, so I immediately started deleting tweets from the ministry accounts and my business accounts, which in total was about 20 - 25 accounts.
I then started to research the issue by Googling “hootsuite account hacked” which gave me the following link: http://newthoughtmarketing.com/ntmblog/social-media/hootsuite-hacked-yesterday-july-28-2013/. Now this link highlights that issue that I dealt with in getting my hootsuite account hacked but it also highlighted the main point i’m trying to make with this blog post, there was no warning that my account would be hacked, and once the two links were sent, there was no further indication that my account was compromised. Furthermore, there hasn’t been a statement from Hootsuite regarding the hacks except the common directions to remove all social media networks, change your password on hootsuite and the social media networks and then reinstall the networks. This response is fine but outside of a person in a forum stating that the issue could be 3rd party addons giving hackers access to Hootsuite, there isn’t any information on how this attack occurs and how to prevent it in the future. It’s just a mystery with no rhyme or reason and that’s not a good situation to be in when dealing with multiple accounts for multiple organizations. I have reached out to @hootsuite and @hootsuite_help so hopefully I will hear something back in the near future.