You’ve Heard of Anonymous — Now Meet OurMine, the Hackers Targeting the Tech Elite

You’ve Heard of Anonymous — Now Meet OurMine, the Hackers Targeting the Tech Elite
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

On Thursday morning, hackers got access to yet another high-profile Twitter account. This time it belonged to Daniel Ek, the CEO and founder of Spotify. The group had one message to send out from his account:

Source: Twitter

OurMine is the name of a three-person hacking team that is responsible for cracking into the social media accounts of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Deadmau5, David Guetta, Channing Tatum, YouTubers Pewdiepie and Markiplier, and former Twitter CEOs Dick Costolo and Ev Williams.

OurMine told Mic in private messages that when it first started hacking accounts, it would get in, cull private data and store information. Now, it has rebranded as a "security group," claiming to only hack people in order to promote security and its own service, leaving behind a benign public message encouraging people to "upgrade" or ask it for help.

The OurMine team set up a site where you can pay them to "scan" your website, personal account, or even entire corporation for security vulnerabilities.

Not everyone takes OurMine's schtick in good faith. When the group let Deadmau5 know it was available to help him with his personal security, he told them, "I don't give a fuck," and said the team could "go fuckin crazy" if they wanted:

One hacker traced the IP addresses used by the OurMine to Saudi Arabia. It's hard to determine where the hackers are coming from because the OurMine team is routing their traffic through a system called a VPN — they won't reveal where they're from, but OurMine says that none of its members are from Saudi Arabia.

As for how they hack these accounts, some in the security community suspect that OurMine is banking off of old password databases that have gone up for sale on dark markets, hoping that major celebrities are included in those databases and still using their old passwords.

Instead, OurMine insists that its technique involves vulnerabilities in existing services used in common by those they've hacked, along with exploits that allow it to access the passwords celebrities have saved in their browsers. This is how they hacked Channing Tatum's YouTube and Twitter accounts, where they left behind a link to their website.

The team also left behind their theme song.

Nerd-core: In 2014, when OurMine was still a hacking team, it says that Atlanta-based songwriter Lindee Link offered to make them a theme song. Link could not be reached for comment.

OurMine says it paid her $1,000 for a cover of Ariana Grande's "One Last Time" with the words changed to be information security-themed. Ever since, it has left the song behind wherever it goes.

Source: YouTube

While hacking teams like the groups claiming the Anonymous moniker throw together makeshift ideologies to justify their hacks, OurMine is straightforward: It just wants people to use better security. And occasionally, to pay them.

If the OurMine team is to be believed, it has already made $16,500 selling its services.

Read more: 
• This Is How Anonymous' Fight Against ISIS Hurts Actual Counterterrorism
• "Hacktivists" Aren't Social Justice Warriors — They're Assholes
• Anonymous Divided: Inside the Two Warring Hacktivist Cells Fighting ISIS Online

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Jack Smith IV

Jack Smith IV is a senior writer covering technology and inequality. Send tips, comments and feedback to jack@mic.com.

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