Miriam Dalli’s Twitter account was recently hacked, which resulted in her account promoting video games.
Getting Hacked to Promote Video Game Consoles
Over the weekend, a strange and bizarre thing happened to Energy Minister Miriam Dalli’s official Twitter account when it was hacked by some group of hackers who were based in New York, according to Times of Malta.
After the said cyber attack, Dalli confirmed with her followers on her official Facebook page that the issue has been reported to the local authorities, specifically to the Cyber Crime Unit that handles cases like Dalli’s.
According to the report, many of the tweets that promoted video game consoles such as Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and S were linked to a New-York-based account that specifically tracks video game retailers that stock those mentioned consoles and posts affiliated links from time to time in order for people to purchase from.
For those who are unaware of what affiliate links do, people or companies who use those kinds of links earn a certain amount of commission based on the number of people clicking through the said link. Another way for them to earn is via purchases made through the links.
Black-Collared Hackers Targets Affiliated Links
Since affiliated links earn money for their original owners, Black-collared hackers (those who do hacking for no good; basically online criminals) usually target those and take over those links for themselves. During the time that those said links are under their control or haven’t been deactivated yet, the money earned from those links is redirected to those hackers’ pockets instead.
Since Dalli’s official Twitter account has more than 12,000 followers and is a popular figure in Malta herself, hackers thought that they could earn big time by promoting affiliate links that lead those to popular gaming consoles. The only catch is that most of Dalli’s followers are from her home country in Europe, while the consoles being advertised were from the United States. Even if a person manages to get a low-priced deal from those links, customers who purchased from those will suffer from huge shipping fees and possible import taxes in Europe and in Malta (if there are any).
Other Hackers Targeting Video Gaming Companies
This isn’t the first time that hackers got involved in the video gaming scene, as history shows when it comes to the gaming market industry. The infamous 2011 Sony PlayStation Network Outage, commonly known as the PSN hack, severely damaged Sony’s reputation when it comes to the security of its customers. 77 million users during that time were compromised and users of the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable were not able to use the services of PlayStation Network for 23 days, even if the actual cyber attack only happened between two days, from April 17, 2011, to April 19, 2011.
What’s worse is that Sony’s executives and higher-ups during that time tried to cover up the said issue. However, once news media outlets got wind of how huge the damage the cyberattack caused to Sony, all things blew up in Sony’s face disastrously. It has been recorded as the largest cyber security breach in human history, which caught the attention of various governments of different countries globally, criticizing Sony’s actions during the duration of the attack and the way they handled it afterward.