Friday 22 February 2013

Abchat Weekly Wrap Up: Hacker's delight

On Monday, Burger King’s Twitter account was hacked. The company’s profile picture changed to a McDonald’s logo and the background picture on the account showing something called Fish McBites. Also, bogus and slightly amusing tweets such as “We just got sold to McDonald’s! Look for McDonald’s in a hood near you” were being tweeted from the corporate account for about an hour before 1815hrs (GMT) when Twitter, after a request from the fast food giant, suspended its account. Burger King’s arch rival, McDonald’s, did tweet in response to what happened, saying We empathize with our @BurgerKing counterparts. Rest assured, we had nothing to do with the hacking." The PR surrounding this whole debacle was handled quite well by Burger King which issued an apology through its Facebook page.

This week has seen other high profile Twitter hijacks with the famous hacker group, Anonymous (@Anon_Central) even becoming a victim! One has to worry when a Twitter account which is run by a hacker gets hacked itself. Also during the week, Jeep, and Jeremy Clarkson’s Twitter accounts were targeted by hackers, prompting technology security experts to inform users to make their passwords more sophisticated. Anonymous was in the news for most of 2012, however some experts believe its influence is starting to dwindle with new links between cyber crime and China, and some key Anonymous members have now been arrested.

The Twitter hacks for the likes of Burger King and Clarkson do not really represent a PR disaster as with both incidents it was blatantly obvious that someone had hacked their accounts and the matters were dealt with in a timely manner. A great infographic from social media monitoring company Synthesio showed that actually there was a net benefit to Burger King which acquired 30,000 new followers in just one day and there was a 300% increase in conversations in which Burger King was mentioned. The PR for Anonymous however, is a little bit more of a disaster as the number one hacker in the world has been hacked! How does Anonymous recover from this? Let’s hope it does not feel the need to prove itself by going on an all out attack!

House-builder Crest Nicholson announced its intention to float around 35% of its stock next month in a move that would value the group at around £500m. This could be a step in the right direction for kick starting the gloomy IPO market 

The pound plummeted against the dollar and euro this week following continued concerns about the health of the UK economy  

Nat Rothschild has lost his power struggle to clear out the Board of coal miner Bumi, after he disagreed with them about the way forward for the beleaguered company.

Novartis bowed to pressure from shareholders and other stakeholders this week and withdrew its planned payment of a $78 million ‘golden gag’ to Daniel Vasella, its outgoing chairman, preventing him sharing his knowledge with competitors. The decision comes just days before the Board has to face investors at its AGM

A group of online entrepreneurs including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Google co-founder Sergey Brin, have joined forces and pledged $50m over the next two years in a financial award to rival the Nobel Prize, rewarding innovation in science

This week the team has hosted two themed market lunches, one on China and the other on Resources. Both had excellent guests and the conversation was positive for 2013.

Staying on the Resources theme, we hosted our Abchums from VSA Capital for some drinks and canapés at our offices this week and were pleased to hear how well they have been doing recently having just come back from Indaba in South Africa.

Jamie attended the Gorkana breakfast briefing with the Sunday Times’ business editor Dominic O’Connell and deputy business editor Iain Dey and live tweeted the event. Stories need good subjects – “people like to read about people” said O’Connell.

On Thursday, Anna jetted off to New York to join the IPREX Global Leadership Conference hosted by Makovsy - we look forward to her reporting on what she learned when she returns next week.

The City isn't changing much this week, the only move we have to report is John Parry joining business advisory firm Baker Tilly as a forensic partner. John has had over 20 years experience in the field.

Splogs – Spam blogs, where content provided is either fake or does not belong to the blog creator. They are created very link-heavy from other sites, with the intent of boosting SEO results.

See the largest collection of James Bond vehicles ever assembled at the National Motor Museum in Hampshire. All the vehicles have featured in the epic Bond films and you can get up close and personal with Aston Martin DB5, the Lotus Esprit S2 as well as all the older classics. 

Delight your tastebuds tonight at “After Hours Dessert” pop-up which is running this weekend in Store St Espresso, Bloomsbury, and on selected March dates.

Tonight, Topham Supper club is happening at the Amadeus in Little Venice. Bodega Raffy is providing the wine menu.

Oh, and don't forget the Oscars on Sunday night!

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