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Yesterday, Disneyland Anaheim’s Instagram and Facebook accounts were hacked by a self-proclaimed “super hacker,” using the alias David Do, who proceeded to post racist and homophobic posts across the accounts.
The attack appears to have been motivated by a negative experience with the brand, with the attacker stating he was “here to bring revenge upon Disney land [sic],” and tired of Disney employees “mocking” him.
While Disneyland was quick to regain control of the account and removed the posts, the event has been a PR nightmare that’s left millions of visitors and families exposed to hateful and offensive content, particularly on Disneyland Anaheim’s Instagram, which has 8.4 million followers.
For other organizations, the Disneyland breach highlights that while platforms like Facebook and Instagram can help reach a wider audience, they also open the door to social media account takeover, which an attacker can use to seriously damage your reputation.
While it’s unclear how the hacker gained access to Disneyland’s social accounts, Aaron Turner, CTO of SaaS Protect at California-based AI cybersecurity provider, Vectra, believes that social media companies are to blame for offering organizations poor authentication mechanisms.
“From an identity and access perspective, it has always disappointed me that the major social media and internet publishing will not allow for their biggest sponsors to utilize strong authentication and federated identities to protect their brands,” Turner said.
One of the key problems with social media accounts, and the reason why accounts are vulnerable to account takeover attempts, is they rely on password-based authentication, which is susceptible to credential theft.
According to the Verizon 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report, last year, 50% of breaches were caused by stolen credentials.
“Because Instagram forced Disney to use a low-security authentication mechanism, essentially…