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The University Of Wisconsin’s Twitter Got Hacked And Went About How You’d Expect

Usually when a notable Twitter account tweets out something controversial that seems unforeseen from them, the cliche, go-to excuse is to say “i wuz hacked.” We, people of the internet, have seen this used as a defense countless times, whether or not it be legit.

A recent example are the supposed Twitter fingers of the New York Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis:

Well, today, for the University of Wisconsin’s official Twitter account, there’s little doubt that they fell victim to a hacker that tweeted out some very positive messages (featuring some clutch MS Paint censorship by me):


No big university secrets revealed, no anarchist statements, no revealing photos of Frank Kaminsky or J.J. Watt (thankfully), just some trollish taunting featuring a link to a song by controversial rapper XXXTentacion called “Riot.”

UW-Madison Police’s Twitter did some crisis management during all of this, assuring everybody that things were going to be just fine:

These tweets managed to stay up for approximately three hours before the UW administrative brass finally took back the reigns of their online presence. They then tweeted out an apology and explanation for the hacking:


University of Wisconsin–Madison staff became aware of suspicious activity on the account around 6:30 a.m., as it was taking place.

Four unauthorized tweets were posted by an unknown user. Twitter support was immediately contacted, the tweets were removed at 9:30 a.m. and the account has been fully restored.

A specific cause has not yet been identified, but University Communications will undertake a review of its social media account security in the wake of the disruption.

“We’re sorry for the disruption, but we appreciate all of the heads-up messages and support from our friends and alums on social media,” says Nate Moll, social media coordinator.

The situation is a reminder to all social media users to employ strong passwords, two-factor authentication and a periodic review of access and third party apps.

In regards to that last sentence, it seems to me that the Badgers are probably guilty of not taking all the precautionary steps necessary in preventing this. You’re an academic Twitter account, Wisconsin. Yes that makes you notable, but although my only real hacking knowledge has been soaked in by watching the first two seasons of Mr. Robot (highly recommended), I think you are down the list when it comes to high-priority hacking targets. Government agencies, celebrities and athletes are more noteworthy hacks and have been in the past as far as making news goes. This does not mean that you can be nonchalant in your password security and your authentication process. Just because you aren’t Katy Perry or the FBI, doesn’t mean you can take it easy in these cyber security streets.

Just make sure in the future that your account has better defense on it than your basketball team had on Florida’s Chris Chiozza back in March.


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