What is Chuckling Squad? Jason Derulo's Twitter hacked by group that hit Jack Dorsey and Mariah Carey's accounts
The Chuckling Squad first came into the limelight in August 2019, when they gained control of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s account for around 20 minutes
Jasin Derulo happens to be the latest victim of the notorious group of Twitter hackers who go by the name ‘Chuckling Squad’. Their high-profile list of cybersecurity breaches includes Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, singer Mariah Carey and actor Adam Sandler, among others.
Derulo’s account was compromised around 2:30 pm ET on January 12 and it was detected after tweets from his account reflected racial and profane content. The hackers had control of his account for over an hour before it was restored to normal. A series of tweets were posted from the hacked account during this time, most of which contained racist expletives and obscene slurs targeted towards other celebrities like James Charles and Megan Thee Stallion. This, however, is not the first time the hacking collective has targeted YouTuber James Charles, as his account was hacked by the same group back in 2019.
Some of the tweets from Derulo’s hacked account contained repeated shoutouts to an individual named Ray while one tweet provided links to a Discord channel, which is believed to enlist all the hacking offenses by the Chuckling Squad.
Celebrities hacked by the Chuckling Squad
The Chuckling Squad first entered the news in August 2019, when they gained control of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s account for around 20 minutes. Within that short span of time, the hackers managed to post a string of racist and anti-Semitic tweets, where they unabashedly used the n-word and endorsed Nazi propaganda. They even tweeted a bomb hoax directed at Twitter headquarters in San Francisco.
Just a month before Dorsey’s account breach, Chuckling Squad hacked into the Twitter account of London’s Metropolitan Police under New Scotland Yard. The nature of the hack was similar, with racist and obscene slurs being posted frequently till the account could be recovered.
On December 31, 2019, Carey, with a Twitter following of 21.4 million at the time, fell victim to the Chuckling Squad’s antics. In the characteristic Chuckling Squad style, offensive tweets were published, primarily targeting Eminem this time. The most unfortunate part of the whole incident was perhaps that the offensive tweets were liked and retweeted by thousands before Twitter regained control and deleted them.
A few days later, on January 2, 2020, the cyber felons hacked into actor Adam Sandler’s Twitter account and posted similar racist, offensive messages targeting high-profile public figures.
Who is behind the Chuckling Squad?
The members of Chuckling Squad are yet to be identified. However, the language and other factors in their offensive, racist, homophobic, and communal tweets posted from hacked accounts hint at a younger group.
In November 2019, a minor was arrested in Santa Clara County, California, who was allegedly a former member of the Chuckling Squad and played a significant role in hijacking Dorsey’s account. The offender, who went by the Twitter handle Debug, was an expert in SIM-swapping who was evicted by the core group in October 2019.
With the Jason Derulo Twitter hack, it appears that the Chuckling Squad are back to their usual shenanigans again.
How does the Chuckling Squad hack into celebrity accounts?
The much talked about Dorsey account heist was performed through a method called SIM-swapping. In fact, Chuckling Squad has been found to exploit SMS-related services to gain access to celebrity accounts.
Dorsey’s account was hacked after the hackers deployed social engineering and manipulated his cellular service provider into transferring his number to a new SIM card. The maneuver has gained more popularity now, causing an increased number of social media hacks in 2020, and not just celebrity accounts.
Cybersecurity experts urge all users to always adhere to the two-factor authentication system to avoid such account breaches. “......network providers needing to up their in-house training in order to spot social engineering, people need to understand the risks of not using Two Factor Authentication at all, or using it via SMS,” said Jake Moore, a cybersecurity specialist at ESET, in an interview with Forbes.
He added that using an authenticator app like Google Authenticator can add an additional layer of security for all online accounts and thereby protect against such hacks.