Something Smells Phishy – The Twitter Hacker

I was multitasking when it happened. When I mention the idea of multitasking, I mean serious business. I was once looked at by my old boss as someone that could teach ADD to a rock.

I was looking over my emails for the day and saw I had an inordinate amount of Twitter followers. I attributed the large amount of people recently using Mr. Tweet. I knew when I left the house to spend Sunday afternoon with the family at the pool I would have a number of emails to respond to when I got home. After supper I logged in and saw a few emails from people that told me the bad news. My Twitter account had been compromised. I had looked at my Tweetdeck and tried to send a message, it was also not working. The password changed on my account and the ability to send messages stopped. I had been hacked by a spammer. The irony of this was, I was on the lookout for spammers as earlier in the day I had tweeted about this very thing.

I tried logging into Twitter from the regular account on the application itself. I couldn’t. I needed to reset the password. Then I noticed that twitter themselves had indicated that the spammers had attacked many other people as well. The picture you must be wary of is on the Twitter blog and a copy of that I have posted below.


I had fallen prey to this because I wasn’t paying attention to what was happening. I was entering new followers from email and didn’t pay attention to what I was doing and found that I had fallen for one of the oldest tricks in the book. I gave someone my password and login not realizing I had done so. Then I had left my house giving them access for a long time. The worst thing that could have happened. I always suggest people change their passwords on a regular basis just for this purpose. I’m the last guy that should be in charge of passwords. Just ask my assistant. She always gives me a hard time. Actually if she wanted she could probably hack my bank account and everything else I have that requires a password. I’m hoping we can come up with a new way of logging in to our accounts in the future. I am ready to install the retinal scan after this last episode.

In the meantime, if you find that you have been compromised like I have, please change your passwords immediately. Then when you feel safe and that your accounts are okay, change your password again. To those of you that had to deal with my account being hacked by these bad guys, I apologize. I hope that my Twitter credibility will hold up after this latest craziness. My thanks to the folks at Twitter for the quick response to this and for making it so we victims of this can keep things going. They responded quickly to this and should be commended. This was accomplished on a Sunday following a holiday. That is customer service at its best, and protection of their customers at its finest.

As of the time that I posted this they are still trying to work the scam and they will be getting into more and more accounts. I am not sure what is being done to help prevent this other than getting suers to recognize when there is a problem. I hope that they can get that taken care of. In the meantime, if you see a message from anyone with a twitter login page, please ignore it.
UPDATE: Pete Cashmore seems to think this is a rite of passage for Twitter. You have made it when your site gets Phished.
Update 2: Here is a picture of the screen shot taken from a follower that received a message from me. Thanks @ghozali at