Even Mark Zuckerberg can be a victim of password theft

Celebrities from Jack Black to Mark Zuckerberg recently had their Twitter accounts hijacked. And while the fallout so far seems to be mostly childish pranks, the security lessons from this incident can’t be overstated.

The attack was allegedly the work of the OurMine team. The hacking group has also taken credit for breaking into Zuckerberg’s Instagram and Pinterest pages.

If you’re wondering how hackers were able to get into the account of perhaps the most famous tech leader in the world, here’s all you have to know: It’s probably time to change your passwords.

Repeated passwords

The account hijacking was made possible by a recent dump of 167 million LinkedIn passwords and usernames.

Among the accounts leaked was Zuckerberg’s. And apparently he committed the cardinal sin of so many users: He repeated the password across several platforms.

(That password, by the way, was apparently “dadada.” Seems like there might be a good story behind that one.)

Time to change passwords

Chances are you have at least one standby password that has served you well through the ages. And if it’s a password that’s easy to remember but hard to crack, it may seem like that strategy is OK.

Unfortunately, cases like this one show it’s doomed to catch up to you sooner or later.

All it takes is one password leak – even through the fault of the service you used it for and not your own – and that username and password can be plugged into forms all over the Internet until hackers get a match. Bank accounts, email, dating apps … anything.

So users have been warned – as they have a hundred times or more, no doubt. Will this incident change most of their behavior? Probably not. But it does show no one is immune to common password mistakes, including a tech mastermind.

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