Over a dozen NFL teams may want to consider hiring a cyber defensive coordinator after their Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts were reportedly hijacked and defaced on Sunday and Monday by the mischievous OurMine hacker group, which has emerged from hibernation.
According to multiple news sources, the hackers compromised the NFL’s league Twitter and Facebook account, as well as social media accounts belonging to the Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Bears appear to have been the first team that was victimized. The hackers published a tweet claiming that the franchise had a new owner and included photo of Saudi official Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation (ISSF). A follow-up post revealed the ruse, stating: “Hi we’re OurMine. We’re here for 2 things: 1) Announce that we’re back 2) Show people that everything is hackable.”
Similar messages appeared on the other hacked NFL accounts, along with an email address victims were advised to contact in order to improve their accounts’ security.
A Detroit Lions fan group played along, replying to the tweet and asking if the Bears would trade them star outside linebacker Khalil Mack. “Done for 1$,” OurMine responded.
“Apologies that our account was compromised this morning. We’re back in the game & ready for the Pro Bowl,” the Bears tweeted after taking back control of their account.”
OurMine has previously been attributed to a Saudi group. The organization claims to offer white hat services, but historically it made a name for itself by compromising prominent organizations’ and celebrities’ online accounts (especially Twitter), exposing their faulty online password practices. Its numerous past victims include HBO, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai. The group had remained largely dormant since 2017.
On Tuesday, OurMine had also taken credit for hacking Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, FooVR CEO Will Smith, Queer Eye personality Bobby Berk, Dodgers second baseman Enrique Hernandez, and others, BleepingComputer reported.