Who hacked the NFL, Chiefs, 49ers, Packers & Bears Twitter accounts?

The most popular social media accounts have always been exposed to information security incidents. During last Monday morning, Twitter users began to notice that accounts belonging to the National Football League (NFL), as well as some popular teams, including the contenders of the upcoming Super Bowl had been hacked.

Hackers deleted profile pics from attacked accounts

On Tuesday morning, the NFL issued a statement regarding the hacking incident: “Some target attacks were detected in addition to multiple failed breach attempts on the league and teas accounts. Immediate action was taken and teams were advised to secure their social media profiles to prevent unauthorized access.”

The NFL also notified the social media companies, which in turn provided the support of their information security teams to protect all accounts linked to the league. “Normal operations on all affected accounts have already been reestablished. We will keep working diligently and in conjunction with law enforcement during the incident investigation,” the statement says.

Regarding cybercriminals, a group known as OurMine claimed responsibility for the attack: “We are here to prove that everything is hackable”, mention the tweets posted from the compromised accounts. Affected teams include San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs, Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Cleveland Browns, and more.


Some of the tweets posted on compromised accounts

Several information security firms are locating Saudi Arabia as the headquarters of this hacker group, which has already deployed similar attacks against some celebrities’ social media accounts to advertise their “security services”, as if it were a legitimate company. Needless to mention, this could not be considered a legitimate service, as such intrusions are illegal in any country where data protection laws exist. In these cases, hacking is considered as a variant of electronic fraud or identity theft.

The International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) mentions that any participant in mass events falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security, in the category of “Commercial Facilities”, due to its propensity to cyberattacks. This should be a wake-up call for the league and member teams, as similar incidents in the future could expose sensitive information and lead to problems of non-compliance with information security legislation.