Hacked Celebrities: 4 Superstar Hacks and How to Avoid Them

Celebrities will go to great lengths to show they’re just like us. From posting selfies to their socials to having hackable passwords – they truly have all the same wants and problems as you and me. 

With over 422 million people affected by data breaches last year, it’s hardly surprising that some famous people also fall victim to hacks. 

With millions of dollars in the bank and superstar reputations to uphold, the stakes can be high, yet mistakes still get made. 

Let’s explore four of the worst cases of celebrities getting hacked and see how you can be exactly not like them. 

1. The celerity crypto scam

Back in 2020, Twitter faced a massive hack. A hacker, since identified as a 17-year-old known online as PlugWalkJoe managed to get into Twitter itself. 

We’re not saying that Twitter is the celebrity here. 

O’Connor used his breach of the social media platform to take advantage of access to some of the most popular and powerful accounts on the platform. 

Politicians like Barack Obama and Joe Biden, celebs like Elon Musk and Kim Kardashian, and even multi-billion-dollar corporations like Apple and Uber all got attacked. 

The accounts Tweeted about a crypto scam that promised to double any deposit sent to a specific crypto wallet. 

Avoid the hack

Reports found that the most likely way the attack happened was through social engineering. 

That’s when the hacker works to manipulate people online to gain access to their security credentials. 

In this case, the hacker was able to get into Twitter systems by targeting employees. 

Most of us don’t work at Twitter, but we can still be sensible and check who emails are coming from and never give out personal, sensitive data online.

2. The Dutchman who hacked the President

Donald Trump sits somewhere between politician and celebrity, so the hack of his Twitter account makes it on our list. 

The fact that arguably the most powerful person on Earth let his main social platform get hacked should be a warning to us all. 

In 2018, a Dutch man used his exceptional powers of deduction to guess President Trump’s Twitter password. 

Would you have guessed that it was his catchphrase from The Apprentice days, you’re fired

The White House and the social platform both vehemently denied the hack ever took place. 

However, just two years later, the same guy tried the same tactic and got into Trump’s same account, this time with the password maga2020!

Avoid the hack

The hacker was investigated in the Netherlands and eventually didn’t face charges since he fell into the Dutch definition of an ethical hacker. 

Ethical or not, if you want to avoid being as vulnerable as Trump, make sure you use secure passwords. Using a password generator can ensure you use one that will be nearly unhackable. 

3. The biggest Instagram account gets hacked

In 2017, Selena Gomez was the owner of the biggest account on Instagram. 

At the time of getting hacked, she had over 125 million followers and was in the midst of a breakup with fellow superstar Justin Bieber.

In August 2017, Gomez’s Instagram had all its content deleted, had a caption telling her followers to go follow three other accounts, and nudes of Bieber posted. 

Little was said after the hack, and it seems the star got her account back up and running. However, a court case in 2018 may give some clue as to where the Bieber shots came from. 

Avoid the hack

A 21-year-old woman was convicted of hacking personal email accounts belonging to Gomez and her personal assistant. The hacker was able to gain access to the accounts through the “secret questions,” which she guessed based on publicly available information. 

Make sure that the backup security you have in place isn’t public, such as pet names or school history. 

4. The lawyers get involved

Why would you hack one celebrity when you hack the lawyers of the celebrities? 

This is what the notorious online gang Revil did back in May 2020 when they broke into Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks. 

The firm’s client list includes Madonna, Lady Gaga, and Elton John, to name just a few. In the hack, 756GB of data was stolen, and an initial ransom of $21 million was demanded. 

This soon increased to $42 million as the lawyers dug in their heels. 

Without payment, Revil went to the dark web and offered celebrity files up for auction, starting with Madonna. 

News of the story went quiet after a few more auctions, and the gang seems to have disappeared offline. 

Avoid the hack

Ransomware can happen in lots of ways, so you need to take sensible security steps all the time. 

Installing a VPN can be a strong start – it can hide your location and encrypt all the data that goes into and out of your device. Click here for more details about how a VPN keeps your online life secure. 

Worst celebrity hacks of all time

When you’re worth millions of dollars and have an audience to match, it’s no wonder hackers want to target you. 

Megastars are clearly as vulnerable as the rest of us when it comes to obvious passwords, giving away too much online, and not using all the tools available to them. 

Go turn on 2-factor authentication on all your apps, download a VPN, and always check out a link before you click on it.