Want to keep the TNW Conference vibe going?? Tickets for TNW2022 are available now >>

The heart of tech

This article was published on August 1, 2016

CEO of Pokémon Go’s Niantic Labs hacked on Twitter

CEO of Pokémon Go’s Niantic Labs hacked on Twitter
Bryan Clark
Story by

Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

John Hanke, CEO of Pokémon Go creator Niantic, is the latest in a string of high-profile Twitter account hacks recently.

The hack saw Hanke join the likes of Sundar Pichai, Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey — the CEOs of Google, Facebook and Twitter — and again, the hack was perpetrated by OurMine, the Saudi collective that claimed responsibility for the previous social media hacks as well as taking down WikiLeaks a month back.

OurMine gained access to the account due to a failure on behalf of Hanke to secure it with a difficult password. The hackers claim the password was “nopass,” a six letter attempt without numbers or special characters that would take hackers under a minute to brute force.

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 9.54.32 AM

Hanke would have been better served using a password manager to manage his accounts. Tools like 1Password, Last Pass (although it had a recent vulnerability), DashLane and others allow you to create strong (un-guessable) passwords without actually having to remember them. Instead, you’ll just remember a single master password to access all your accounts.

It’s baffling how this keeps happening to high-profile CEOs and celebrities when we’ve been warned for years about the danger posed by utilizing weak passwords. But, live and learn I guess. I doubt Hanke makes this mistake again.