Hackers target NFL teams on Twitter ahead of Super Bowl

Teams including the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers were all targeted.

Abrar Al-Heeti Technology Reporter
Abrar Al-Heeti is a technology reporter for CNET, with an interest in phones, streaming, internet trends, entertainment, pop culture and digital accessibility. She's also worked for CNET's video, culture and news teams. She graduated with bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Though Illinois is home, she now loves San Francisco -- steep inclines and all.
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Abrar Al-Heeti
2 min read
Super Bowl

Several NFL team accounts were hacked ahead of the Super Bowl.

Getty Images

The Twitter accounts of several NFL teams were hacked on Monday ahead of this weekend's Super Bowl game. Around 15 teams, including the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers, were all targeted. The accounts had their profile images removed and some included messages from OurMine, the Saudi Arabia-based hacker group that appears to be responsible.

"We are here to show people that everything is hackable," a message on a handful of hacked accounts reads. "To improve your accounts security contact us." The message includes an email address and Twitter handle for OurMine, though the account was suspended.

Twitter  representative confirmed the NFL accounts were hacked through a third-party platform, adding that the social media platform locked the compromised accounts as soon as it learned of the issue and is "working closely with our partners at the NFL to restore them."

The NFL's main account was also hijacked. League representatives didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Some teams, including the Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys, were hacked on Instagram and Facebook, according to CNET sister site ZDNet. A  Facebook  representative said the company is "investigating and working to secure and restore access to any impacted accounts."  Instagram  is owned by Facebook.

The UFC was also hacked on Instagram, as were ESPN accounts on Facebook and Twitter.

"We're aware some of ESPN's social media accounts were briefly compromised," a company representative said. "We have taken immediate action and are actively working to assess the issue and prevent further unauthorized access." The hack also appears to be due to an issue with a third-party publishing tool, and ESPN is working with platforms directly to secure its accounts.

OurMine has previously hacked the accounts of several high-profile personalities, including tech leaders like Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg , Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Google CEO Sundar Pichai. OurMine didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Originally published Jan. 27 at 1:46 p.m. PT.
Updates, 1:57 p.m.: Adds details about Instagram and Facebook hacks; 3:01 p.m.: Adds comment from Facebook; 7:42 p.m.: Adds more details from Twitter representative; Jan. 28 at 2:16 p.m.: Adds information on ESPN and UFC hacks.