DETROIT (AP) — Someone hacked their way into Jeep's Twitter account on Tuesday, posting fake tweets about the brand being sold to Cadillac and that it was suspending factory production.
The move was similar to an incident involving the Burger King restaurant chain on Monday. A spokesman for Chrysler Group LLC, which owns Jeep, said he had no idea if the two cases were linked, although he said the visuals looked similar.
Messages left with Twitter spokeswomen were not immediately returned.
Hackers took control of the account around 1:30 p.m. EST, posting that the Jeep brand had been sold to General Motors' Cadillac because employees had been caught "doing this." Accompanying the tweet was a photo of a man holding a bottle of pills. Later, the hackers tweeted that Jeep production had been halted.
The false tweets took place for a little under an hour before Chrysler's social media agency was able to regain control of the account with help from Twitter, Chrysler spokesman Ed Garsten said. The false messages were deleted from the account around 3 p.m.
The agency, Ignite Social Media of Birmingham, Mich., near Detroit, spotted the misdeeds quickly and worked to wrest the account back from the hackers, Garsten said. He said he has no idea who hacked into the account, and he thought Chrysler would take steps to guard against future attacks.
"I can only imagine that they're taking a look at it," he said.
Jeep normally uses Twitter to promote its vehicles and parts, or to spotlight its customers.
Garsten said he didn't think the incident hurt the Jeep brand because most people realized it was a hacking incident. The hackers were successful in making Jeep's tweets more popular.
"I guess I see that Jeep was trending during that time," he said.
Burger King's Twitter account went through a similar takeover on Monday, as hackers posted obscene messages and changed its profile picture to a McDonald's logo.