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NFL Teams’ Twitter Accounts Get Hacked Ahead of Super Bowl

Kurt Wagner

(Bloomberg) -- The official Twitter accounts for more than a dozen National Football League teams have been hacked, less than a week before the Super Bowl.

Official verified Twitter Inc. accounts for a number of teams, including the Super Bowl-bound San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs, no longer have profile photos on the social media service. A tweet sent by the official Green Bay Packers Twitter account reads, “We are here to Show people that everything is hackable,” and attributes the breach to a group called OurMine. Screen shots on Twitter show similar tweets were sent from other official team accounts, but have since been deleted.

OurMine has previously been linked to other Twitter hacks, including on the account of Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey. In June 2016, OurMine claimed credit for breaking into Facebook Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Twitter and Pinterest accounts. OurMine’s Twitter account was subsequently suspended. Another account mentioned in some of the tweets Monday, @OurM1ne, was suspended after the hack of the NFL teams.

In December 2016, hacking team OurMine accessed Netflix Inc. and Marvel Entertainment LLC’s Twitter accounts and posted the message, “Hey, it’s OurMine, Don’t worry we are just testing your security, contact us to help you with your security.”

A Twitter spokeswoman confirmed the NFL accounts were hacked, and said the company has locked the accounts and is investigating further. Later Monday, a second Twitter spokeswoman added that “the accounts were hacked through a third-party platform” used to manage the accounts.

The NFL, whose account was also hacked, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

It’s the second straight day that NFL teams were targeted on the site -- notable in part because the league’s championship game is set for Feb. 2 in Miami. On Sunday, the day of the annual Pro Bowl, hackers trolled some fans of the Chicago Bears after taking over the team’s official Twitter account. The hackers tweeted that the team had been sold, and also that it had traded away its best player.

“Yes, our official team Twitter account was compromised yesterday,” a spokesman for the team said. “We worked directly with Twitter to rectify it in about an hour or so.”

(Updates with Twitter statement on third-party platform in the fifth paragraph.)

--With assistance from Kartikay Mehrotra and Eben Novy-Williams.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at kwagner71@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Andrew Pollack

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