Brandjacking – yet another security threat

date: 16 February 2016
reading time: 3 min

Jokes, satires, and innuendos – we all like them. However, they may sometimes cost a lot of money. Why? The answer is simple – brandjacking. A security threat that leaves companies exposed.

Brandjacking is basically using a company’s name or logo without having rights to do it. Usually to mock a company or put it in a bad light.

Nowadays, hackers are much more almighty than you’d think. Not only do these individuals have powerful skills, but also they can haunt companies with the use of social media, Photoshop, and people’s naivety.

Recently, companies that suffered the most were Kellogg’s (American food company) and a retail brand Target.

Kellogg’s had to deal with an unauthorised website, which looked very similar to the real one and a collection of short movies depicting one of their brand heroes – Tony the Tiger. Movies were far from being appropriate for children, who are brand’s major audience.

Even though the company wanted to separate itself from the drama, many people and media fell for brandjackers’ tricks.

Another company that found itself in a similar situation was Target. They had a problem with their customer service. Hackers created an ‘Ask for help’ account which looked exactly the same as the real one, except it was run by them.

Brandjackers decided to answer customers’ questions in a very rude and vulgar way. However, the moment Target noticed the problem they worked the madness out to their advantage, cleverly proposing products directly connected to the situation, which appeared to be toy trolls (because hackers are often called trolls).

Where may brandjacking lead?

It is without a doubt a major security threat, especially because it’s difficult to prevent. However, there may be a way to stop it, once brands and companies focus on regular monitoring and tracking of their name and logo usage.

What is more, if your company is steadily growing and getting a world-renowned name, chances of being brandjacked are much higher – this is why you should be careful about your actions, just in case. Go through all the scenarios and possible solutions because it may help you save your company from the attack.

Brandjacking is a serious issue, not only because it causes a lot of problems, but also creates a stir and results in bad PR.

How can your company be safe? Make sure to pay extra attention to security these days.

We can help!

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