Dear hackers: You broke the Internet, now fix it

The rash of attacks on Twitter, Facebook, Apple, and others can mean only one thing: Hackers are in control. Let's see how they deal with that.

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I am hereby declaring the Pottery Barn Rule to be in effect for the entire Internet. Memo to all hackers worldwide: You broke it, you own it, now fix it.

Let’s just recap the last week or so.

We have the Mandiant report, published earlier this week by the New York Times, which details how Chinese Army hackers wormed their way into more than 140 US and Canadian organizations over the last six years, including (ahem) the New York Times.

Then there’s the Twitter follies:  Several major brands were taken over by pranksters this week, among them Jeep, Burger King, and Fitzer Automotive.

Some of these hacks were clearly just juveniles messing around. Like the ones who changed Burger King’s Twitter handle and image to “McDonalds,” then blasted out tweets like this:

Shortly thereafter, presumably the same delinquents claimed Jeep was bought by Cadillac and began riffing:

Other more commercially minded hackers were trying to pocket a few bucks by spewing out spammy affiliate links:

Of course, the news here isn’t all bad. Burger King’s Twitter account gained 60K new followers after the hack. And had you ever heard of Fisker Automotive before today? I hadn’t. 

Still, that’s the lighter side of hacking, which seems to mostly involve guessing sites’ Twitter passwords. Other attacks were less benign.

Employees at Facebook, Twitter, and Apple found their systems compromised after they visited the iPhoneDevSDK forum. That geek haven was targeted by a “watering hole” attack – drawing javabeests to the hole only to pounce upon the old and the weak, infecting them. There are likely to be many more by the time the dust finally settles.

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