MTV Fakes a Hack of Its Own Twitter Account for Marketing Stunt

Burger King’s Twitter gained 30,000 new followers after its account received publicity for being hacked Monday. Jeep’s account was hacked on the social media site Tuesday and so was MTV and BET — or were they.

There were some marked differences between the hacks of @BurgerKing and @Jeep when compared with @MTV. MTV soon admitted it was just a marking stunt. It’s one that has been called a “risky ploy,” especially given the fact that a fake hack marketing campaign in 1998 didn’t go so well for MTV.

According to CNET, MTV’s website appeared to be hacked with the words “JF was here” in 1998, but it turned out to be a promotion for its fictional character Johnny Fame.

Here’s more from CNET’s article that said the publicity stunt “backfired” on MTV then:

John Vranesevich, founder of AntiOnline [a hacker news website], was not amused.

“I think it screams of bad ethics,” said Vranesevich, who has since posted a harsh criticism of MTV’s publicity stunt on his Web site.

Vranesevich said that the stunt, which he called a phony hack, was a glorification of a criminal act, and was setting a bad example for teenagers by glamorizing the rebellious nature of hackers.

“Pretending to hack your own sites is one thing, but actually trying to pin it on a high-profile individual is a whole other thing,” said Vranesevich. “I think it downplays the seriousness of the things he’s done. Here’s a guy who broke into a nuclear research site.”

The type of language in this latest Twitter hack/stunt on the MTV and BET accounts is what caused some to be skeptical. This, plus the fact that the two appeared to hack each other and both are owned by Viacom, Business Insider pointed out.

As for who might have pulled the legitimate hacks of Burger King and Jeep this week, officials at the companies do not know, but Gizmodo has a report that might have pinpointed the perpetrator.

Gizmodo connects the dots between some of the shout outs that were given while the accounts were hacked as well as someone getting a little too open about details on their Facebook page. Gizmodo states that it thinks the hack was made by Tony “iThug” Cunha.

Cunha was part of the Defonic Team Screen Name Club that hacked Paris Hilton eight years ago. The tweets posted on the hacked accounts not only included #DTSNC but also #iThug and the Twitter account @GUHTI (iThug backwards).

Gizmodo included that Cunha, based on Facebook events it found, has used the name iThug for DJ-ing gigs he had in Boston and Providence, Rhode Island. Facebook also showed Cunha, using a profile with his real name, bragging about the recent hacks being seen on major television networks.

Read more details in Gizmodo’s report that might implicate Cunha as the person who hacked Burger King and Jeep’s Twitter accounts here.