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Who’s to blame for the $50 000 Twitter account theft?

One of our most viewed stories yesterday was that of how Naoki Hiroshima lost his coveted Twitter handle, @N. In it Hiroshima explains how a hacker utilised simple social engineering techniques to fool customer services representatives at PayPal and web host GoDaddy into surrendering access to his accounts. The hacker then coerced Hiroshima into handing over control of the single character username that he claims had garnered a$50 000 offers in the past.

GoDaddy and PayPal have since released statements about the incident but are taking very different stances.

GoDaddy’s Chief Information Security Officer Todd Redfoot accepted some of the responsibility on the company’s behalf:

“Our review of the situation reveals that the hacker was already in possession of a large portion of the customer information needed to access the account at the time he contacted GoDaddy. The hacker then socially engineered an employee to provide the remaining information needed to access the customer account. The customer has since regained full access to his GoDaddy account, and we are working with industry partners to help restore services from other providers. We are making necessary changes to employee training to ensure we continue to provide industry-leading security to our customers and stay ahead of evolving hacker techniques.”

Conversely PayPal has distanced itself in its statement that “This individual’s PayPal account was not compromised.”

Both companies have said that they are assisting Hiroshima in his quest to reclaim his account which has since been forfeited by the thief but claimed by someone else before Naoki could get it back. Twitter is seems is still silent as to whether they will be willing to help out.

Image: Shutterstock

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