Hackers take over Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn's Twitter account, make bomb threat at Tampa Airport



creating_strong_passwordsTAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) - Tampa police are investigating a bomb threat made against Tampa International Airport after hackers took over Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s Twitter account Thursday morning. The hackers tweeted a nonstop series of offensive racist and pornographic posts and claimed a bomb was in a package at TIA. 

Tampa police say they have found no credible threats in their investigation.

The hackers appeared to take over the mayor’s Twitter account just before 4 a.m. with an initial post that said “Hacked by @MeeZoid @CxlvxnSwag @SheepKiller69 you can’t touch US ####.”

Hackers changed Buckhorn’s cover and profile photos multiple times and at one point renamed the account “Bob Cuckhorn” with a bio that said “City of Tampa’s Mayor.White supremacist. Hater of #######.”

In addition to the child porn, porn and racist tweets, the hackers also sent a tweet to Tampa International Airport, "@FlyTPA I have hidden a bomb in a package somewhere at the Tampa international airport. Looking forward to seeing some minorities die."

The hackers also sent out a fake emergency alert, “EMERGENCY ALERT BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAD INBOUND TO TAMPA BAY AREA. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”

Buckhorn's communications director Ashley Bauman released the following statement on Thursday morning:

“Earlier this morning we noticed someone hacked Mayor Buckhorn’s Twitter account, this was clearly not Mayor Buckhorn. Upon noticing the hack we immediately began investigating these reprehensible tweets. We will work with Tampa Police department as well as all investigators to figure out how this breach was made. We urge residents to change their passwords and continue to alert officials when they see an unlikely change in account activity. We are working with law enforcement to investigate all threats made by this hack.”

"Tampa Police are investigating a hack to Mayor Bob Buckhorn's Twitter account. The Mayor is aware of the hack. TPD detectives are working to determine who is behind the despicable messages. There are no known credible threats," said Tampa Police Department Spokesperson Steve Hegarty.

TIA tweeted the following statement about the threat, "Airport  Police are aware of hackers who made threats against the airport via the Tampa mayor’s twitter account. Police do not believe the threats are credible but are taking appropriate action to ensure the safety of TPA. Operations for passengers are normal at this time."

From our perspective, this is likely to be a password problem. Either the password was too easy to guess, or the staffer responsible for Buckhorn's account used the same password over multiple social media accounts, and another account was hacked.

With the enormous amount of data breaches going on, it has become clear that a large percentage of people use the same password on multiple accounts, which is an invitation to disaster. Stepping employees through new-school security awareness training which teaches them to create strong passwords is a must today.


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