Grand Theft Twitter

by Scimson on February 2, 2014 - 9:59pm

Recently, Naoki Hiroshima was the target of a cyber-attack as he explains in his article “How I Lost My $50,000 Twitter Username” he published on January 29th, 2014. Basically, Hiroshima possessed the coveted username @N that is worth a lot of money for people who want an easily remembered username. The hacker was able to blackmail Hiroshima by taking control of his Go Daddy account which gave him control over all the websites owned by Mr. Hiroshima. Under the threat of losing all his sites, Mr. Hiroshima surrendered his username and was offered an explanation from the hacker on how he got access to his account. Using social engineering tactics, the hacker was able to obtain the last digits of his victim’s credit card from a PayPal customer service representative. With those digits, he was able to reset the Go Daddy account by pretending he was Mr. Hiroshima while speaking with a customer service representative. Afterward, Mr. Hiroshima regained control of his accounts and lost only his Twitter username.

Following a similar event, it is clear that online security is not fail proof. It is clear that we need to improve the security of stored personal information and the access given to the companies of such data. However, as an individual, it is also possible to make sure that our information is not stored anywhere by opting for the slow method of manually entering the digit each time than having it stored by companies such as PayPal.

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