Hackers renamed the Twitter account and replaced Burger King’s branding with McDonald’s, claiming Burger King had been sold to its rival.
Hackers used hashtags #soldtomcdonalds #failurewhopper, made references to Chicago rapper Chief Keef and tweeted images of drug users with the line: “We caught one of our employees in the bathroom doing this…”.
Tweets also made reference to DFNCTSC, suggesting the takeover was down to hacking group Defonic Team Screen Name Club, which is known for hacking Paris Hilton.
The account was suspended after around an hour of unofficial tweets. Burger King gained more than 30,000 followers as a result.
McDonald’s issued a statement sympathising with its rivals over the event tweeting: “We empathise with our @BurgerKing counterparts. Rest assured, we had nothing to do with the hacking.”
The activity has prompted some observers to warn that Twitter’s reputation is at risk and it must take steps to reassure brands that its service is secure.
Sam Garrity, director of digital marketing agency RocketMill, says: “If these types of exploit continue to happen on such a regular basis, it would be a safe bet to assume that big brands will lose trust in Twitter. Only a couple of weeks ago 250,000 Twitter accounts were hacked and now this. The social network’s reputation is increasingly on the line.”
Burger King was not available to comment at the time of writing. Twitter declined to comment.