Home / Tech / 'Everything is hackable' warns cyber group after hacking the Olympics and FC Barcelona Twitter accounts and posting about private messages

'Everything is hackable' warns cyber group after hacking the Olympics and FC Barcelona Twitter accounts and posting about private messages

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach attends a press conference after the executive board meeting of the IOC at the Olympic House, in Lausanne, Switzerland, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. (Laurent Gillieron/Keystone via AP)

  • The official Twitter accounts for the Olympics and Barcelona FC were hacked on Saturday. 
  • OurMine, the group responsible for several prominent Twitter hacks beginning in 2016 claimed responsibility. 
  • In addition to gaining some level of access to the account, the group sent a tweet that claimed a popular soccer player would be returning to the Barcelona team based on private messages it read.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The official Twitter accounts for the Olympics and FC Barcelona were hacked Saturday by the same group responsible for years of other prominent Twitter account hacks. 

A Twitter spokesperson confirmed to Business Insider that both the Olympics and FC Barcelona accounts were hacked by a group called OurMine and through a “third-party platform.” 

“As soon as we were made aware of the issue, we locked the compromised accounts and are working closely with our partners to restore them,” the spokesperson said. 

“The IOC can confirm that it is investigating a potential breach into some of its social accounts,” a spokesperson for the International Olympic Committee said in a statement. 

FC Barcelona also confirmed the hack in a tweet Saturday. 

“FC Barcelona will conduct a cybersecurity audit and will review all protocols and links with third party tools, in order to avoid such incidents and to guarantee the best service to our members and fans,” it said.

In tweets that were posted and quickly deleted, OurMine claimed credits for the Saturday hacks.  

“Hi, we are OurMine,” the since-deleted tweet from the Olympics Twitter account read. “Everything is hackable.”

The tweet then linked to an email address and the group’s website, urging users to contact the group to “improve your accounts security.” 

The FC Barcelona account hack was a bit more nefarious in that it claimed in another since-deleted tweet to have read private messages indicating that a popular former player — Neymar da Silva Santos Jr. — was heading back to the team. 

“Well, we read some private messages and it looks like Neymar will back here,” the tweet read.

While the tweets were quickly removed from both accounts, they were captured via screenshot and posted by other users to Twitter.

UK-based Sports Bible noted that there have been rumors that Neymar, who currently plays for France’s Paris Saint-Germain F.C., could return to FC Barcelona where he played from 2013-2017. 

It was the second time that OurMine has claimed responsibility for a Twitter hack on the Spanish soccer team. On February 7, OurMine claimed responsibility for a hack on the Twitter account for Facebook. 

In an email to Business Insider, OurMine confirmed it was behind the cyberattacks against both FC Barcelona and the Olympics. The group, which it said consisted of 5 people, told Business Insider it chooses its targets at random. It confirmed it used a third-party app to access the accounts. 

“We accessed it by security issues on FC Barcelona and Olympics employees, which allowed us to access the third-party app,” the group told Business Insider. 

A Wired profile of the group indicated the group surfaced around 2016. That year it hacked people like Mark Zuckerberg, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Spotify founder Daniel Ek, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels, and actor Channing Tatum, according to the profile.

The group claimed it is a “white hat” group that exists to help show security vulnerabilities, and not for sinister reasons. OurMine told Wired that it does not change the passwords of the accounts it hacks, claiming that it does not have bad intentions, though it does offer services it alleges can reveal digital vulnerabilities. 

The hacking group, which is based in Saudi Arabia, according to NBC News, has also been responsible for recent hacks to Twitter accounts belonging to the National Football League and several of its teams. As NBC News noted, the group said it stopped hacking in 2017 “due to some issues,” but acknowledged it had returned. 

A Business Insider request for comment from FC Barcelona was not returned. 

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