As more and more celebrities join the social
networking bandwagon, they also become increasingly vulnerable to
hacking. From heads of states to Hollywood celebrities, this year saw a
series of hacking incidents involving high-profile victims. Check out
the most controversial ones.
Selena Gomez's Twitter and Facebook
fans woke up to an uncharacteristic post about her boyfriend Justin
Bieber. The venomous post screamed "Oh yeah, JUSTIN BIEBER
SUCKS!!!!!!!". The teen singer immediately clarified that it was a case
of hacking and she had nothing to do with the post.
Hollywood star Ashton Kutcher, who
used to host the celebrity prank show, Punk'd, got a taste of is
medicine his Twitter account @aplusk was hacked. A tweet sent to his
followers said, "Ashton, you've been Punk'd. This account is not secure.
Dude, where's my SSL?"
Kim Kardashian went into a panic
mode when her Twitter account was hacked by internet pranksters this
year. On discovering fake tweets posted by an imposter, the socialite
appealed to bosses of the site to help restore the security on her
In one of the biggest data
breaches, Sony admitted to an external intrusion which exposed personal
information of 77 million PlayStation Network users. The PlayStation
maker warned users that the hackers might have access to customers'
vital information, including names, birthdates, physical and e-mail
addresses, and logins, handles and credit card details.
Research in Motion
Hackers defaced a website
belonging to Blackberry maker Research in Motion soon after the company
revealed its plans to support police investigating the London riots. The
hackers posted on the blog: "No Blackberry you will NOT assist the
police." Blackberry took off the blog briefly and restored it to its
In one of the most shocking security
breach incident, around two lakh Facebook accounts were hacked in
Bangalore. The users' photos and videos were morphed and the sleazy
links mailed to friends and families overnight.
A scam on Lady Gaga's Facebook page
fooled many fans into clicking the link to win an iPad. The contest
rules and registration were presented as a link to a Blogspot page.
"Lady Gaga's new iPad comes out in 3 days! So for the next 72 hours we
will be hosting a massive giveaway to all the Mother Monster fans. Sign
up and receive your special Lady Gaga edition iPad in time for the
Holidays!" hackers posted on her Facebook page. The presence of the fake
iPad offer didn't go unnoticed, and was taken down within an hour.
Hackers played a cruel joke on
French President Nicolas Sarkozy when they posted a fake resignation
letter from his Facebook page. The post, which went out to more than
350,000 'friends' of the head of the state read like this: "Dear
compatriots, given the exceptional circumstances our country is
experiencing, I have decided in my spirit and conscience not to run for
office again at the end of my mandate in 2012".
Thailand's Prime Minister,
Yingluck Shinawatra, fell victim to the hacking menace when her Twitter
account was hacked. Her followers received tweets criticizing her
political experience and incompetence. The tweets also suggested that
she was her brother's (former Prime Minister - Thaksin Shinawatra)
While celebrities and popular figures
have been the target of hackers, it was media house Fox News who faced
their ire in July this year. In a gruesome joke, the hackers tweeted the
death of president Obama. Some of the tweets read like this:
@BarackObama has just passed. The President is dead. A sad 4th of July,
indeed. President Barack Obama is dead." This was followed by more on
the same lines claiming that Obama was shot at a restaurant while