I Never Said That, What Do You Mean We're At War? My Account Must Have Been Hacked.?
March 16, 2011 1:07 PM   Subscribe

Have there been any high-profile examples where "My account was hacked" was the actual reason for an inflammatory/embarrassing/compromising message, email, or AskMe post, rather than just a lame excuse?

It's always seemed like a really thin excuse and it would take a subtle hacker to violate an account but only leave a few inflammatory comments. In my experience assholes outnumber subtle hackers about 1000 to 1.

The article that triggered this question is here. In general I'm not looking for stories about how someone left their Facebook account logged in and a friend 'liked' every Justin Beiber fan group, but more targeted where someone had an account compromised and left a strategically damaging message.
posted by Ookseer to Human Relations (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
It's not high-profile, but it's so common as to be cliche in the MMORPG world that the reason companies tell you not to share your password with anyone is that if you break up with your S.O., you're guaranteed to log in the next day to find all your money and gear gone, your guildmates pissed at you, and your character wearing a pink tutu in the deepest pit of Hell.

(CS departments hate ex-girlfriends. And ex-boyfriends. And dorks who share their passwords.)
posted by restless_nomad at 1:10 PM on March 16, 2011 [4 favorites]

Well, Anonymous and Aaron Barr of course.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 1:23 PM on March 16, 2011

Although they were explicitly taking over his account and not pretending to be him. but celebrity twitter accounts seem to get hacked fairly often.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 1:24 PM on March 16, 2011

That's been the excuse for just about every sex tape/leaked nudes fiasco ever. Hayley Williams, for example, used that as her excuse for this (NSFW, obviously).
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 1:33 PM on March 16, 2011

Wil Wheaton's son appears to live for the times when Wheaton gets up and leaves his Twitter client open, although the messages are never NSFW and don't require actual hacking, just social engineering and waiting for an opening.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 2:13 PM on March 16, 2011

I wish I could find the article, but there was an essay (published on Law.com which aggregates sources from many publications) in which an attorney described going to a professional conference, opening some file on his computer, and inadvertently revealing porn to a large crowd of other attorneys.

The attorney, in the essay, blamed it on the custodial staff on his office, one of whom, oh yeah, he recalled "catching" on his computer.

The essay struck me as a very ham-handed way of assuaging his embarrassment over a self-inflicted gaffe. I doubt the custodial staff had anything to do with the porn on his computer.
posted by jayder at 3:58 PM on March 16, 2011

I think it depends on what you mean by "hacked". People leaving email/Facebook/whatever open and having a roommate/friend post something is more common I think, and fits with your "why would only one thing happen".

At work, for example, it's standard practice to post a ridiculous / embarrassing message (not NSFW, of course) from someone's email if they leave their computer unlocked, as a way of reminding people not to do that lest a serious breach occur.
posted by wildcrdj at 4:41 PM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

Clearly I didn't read the last line of your question :P

There are definitely reports of this happening and being used for scams. Of course, I bet many of those are simply forged headers and not actual account hijacking.
posted by wildcrdj at 4:51 PM on March 16, 2011

Well, do you mean "hacked" or do you mean someone answered the "security questions" correctly and got into another person's account, a la the guy who got into Sarah Palin's Yahoo account? I would think actual hacking (cracking?) would involve some kind of exploit of a weakness in the site's security. Although now that I think about it, security questions ARE a weakness in the site's security.
posted by IndigoRain at 8:10 PM on March 16, 2011

I mean "Hacked" in the Six O'Clock News sense, not the technical sense. Unauthorized account access.

I suppose Wil Wheaton's twitter account is sort of close, but the messages are always along the lines of "Ryan is the best son ever!" so pretty short on the scandal .

wildcrdj's story is the kind of high-profile think I'm thinking of. Was there ever a case where, say, someone was fired from a job because of computer porn, and had it actually be the fault of hackers?
posted by Ookseer at 10:04 PM on March 16, 2011

There is this (slightly NSFW), where anon used compromised passwords to a Christian site to hack Facebook pages.
posted by Dmenet at 10:36 AM on March 17, 2011

« Older What famous author suggested writing in public to...   |   Gmail copies too much Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.