March 12, 2013, 11:27 AM — Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell has become the latest well-known figure to have a social media account hijacked by pranksters using the takeover to spout embarrassingly profane opinions.
The attack against his Facebook account lasted a handful of hours on Monday before order was restored by the company. In that short time the attackers left visitors in no doubt that something was deeply awry.
""YOU WILL BURN IN HELL, BUSH!" one reportedly read, a reference to former President, George W Bush.
"KILL THE ILLUMINATI! TOMORROW'S WORLD WILL BE A WORLD FREE OF ILLUMINATI OR WILL BE NO MORE!," said another more mysterious post.
As has become usual with such attacks, journalists noticed it almost as quickly as the victim, and it from these that the attack was recorded for posterity before the messages were removed by admins.
"I'm happy to report that the hacking problem has been fixed. We have been working with FB this morning and they took immediate action to remedy the situation," Powell later announced on his restored page.
In an attack that might have a thematic connection to the Powell Facebook hack, the Bush family was recently targeted by email hacker 'Guccifer' in February who stole private photographs and emails, posting them publically.
As with the Bush family attacks, an immediate question is how the attacker breached security.
The Facebook accounts of the rich and famous have proved relatively resilient to compromise or at least the company has devoted reources to having takeovers reversed before much public damage is done; the majority of recent defacement incidents have been against Twitter accounts or official websites.