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Numerous NFL teams had their social media accounts taken over on Monday by a hacking group known as OurMine.
The group, which touts itself as a benevolent entity for raising security awareness, claimed to commandeer at least 11 separate accounts.
The official NFL Twitter account, as well as those for the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, and Kansas City Chiefs, sent out identical tweets alleging to be from OurMine.
“Hi, we’re Back (OurMine),” the tweets began. “We are here … [to] Show people that everything is hackable.”
The group went on to leave contact details as well as a link to its website, where it offers paid “security services” for individuals as well as companies.
OurMine also appeared to compromise social media accounts belonging to the Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, Buffalo Bills, and Houston Texans. Aside from Twitter, accounts on Facebook and Instagram were reportedly hijacked as well.
Speaking with the Daily Dot over email, a member of OurMine alleged that it had gained access to the accounts of every NFL team, but decided to hijack “the most popular first.”
Several of the hacked accounts’ tweets were made through Khoros, a third-party social media management tool, suggesting that OurMine may have accessed the accounts through the company’s software.
When asked whether the hack was enabled by infiltrating the NFL teams’ Khoros accounts, OurMine declined to answer.
OurMine later told the DailyDot, however, that it was able to indirectly access the Twitter accounts through SpredFast, a legacy company of Khoros which also marketed social media management tools.
Khoros failed to respond to several inquiries from the Daily Dot by press time.
OurMine added that it had reached out to several of the teams to inform them of the incident but had yet to hear back.
The hackers’ Twitter account was eventually suspended around two hours after the first football teams’ accounts were compromised.
The NFL incident is just the latest in a long string of similar hacks from the group. It’s not even the first targeting the football league.
Back in 2016, OurMine took over the NFL’s Twitter account and falsely claimed that Commissioner Roger Goodell had died. The group also accessed the NFL Network’s account that same year.
OurMine also alleged that comedian Jack Black had passed away in 2016 after hijacking the account for his music group, Tenacious D. Singer Britney Spears was likewise at the center of a death hoax after the hackers took over Sony Music Global’s Twitter account.
Other notable targets of the group include music artist Drake, celebrity Kylie Jenner, and even Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Famous YouTubers and even media outlets such as BuzzFeed and TechCrunch have been caught up in OurMine’s actions as well.
Mikael Thalen is a tech and security reporter based in Seattle, covering social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.