Colin Powell's Facebook page hacked
Colin Powell's official State Department portrait in 2001. (Photo: U.S. Department of State)
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell's Facebook page was hacked on March 11, possibly by the same miscreant who stole personal photos from Bush family email accounts last month.
"YOU WILL BURN IN HELL, BUSH!" read one of the more family-friendly postings that appeared on the retired general's page on March 11. "KILL THE ILLUMINATI!" the poster continued.
The offensive, all-caps postings have since been removed, but Sophos' Naked Security blog said the person responsible took the opportunity to repost some of the Bush family images that were distributed last month by a hacker who called himself "Guccifer."
"DON'T DELETE MY POSTS," the hacker pleaded, adding an expletive. "LET ME SHOW THE BUSH PICTURES!!!!!!!!!!"
It's not clear if Guccifer was behind today's security breach. [11 Facebook Privacy Steps to Take Now]
As with the Bush family account breaches, Powell's Facebook page hack was probably the result of a poorly chosen account password.
Alternatively, Sophos' Graham Cluley theorizes, Powell may have used the same password and email address to register on another website, one that fell victim to a data breach in which usernames and passwords were compromised.
Both scenarios are easy to avoid by using strong, unique passwords on every online account, especially social networking, webmail and financial services sites.
In any case, the Powell page hijack didn't last long.
"Dear Friends, as most of you realize, my fb page has obviously been hacked. I'm sorry you have to see all the stupid, obscene posts that are popping up," Powell wrote on his Facebook page a couple of hours after the first offensive posting went up. "Please ignore as we are working with fb to take care of this problem. I appreciate your patience."
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