February 1, 2023

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Account Hacked |  Hand A against Twitter.  LePage was furious

Social Networks | Twitter accounts destroyed by hacking wave

The wave of hacking on Twitter has not dried up. After several Quebec journalists, Guy A. LePage lost his Twitter account to a scammer.


At the end of the line, the facilitator stops his anger with a few swear words. “It’s a really bad company,” he sums up bluntly. Since Friday, Quebec’s most-followed personality on Twitter has been unable to reach its 483,000 subscribers.

Worse still, since Monday morning, a hacker using his name and specifically his “blue authentication hook” has falsely sold 10 autographed MacBook computers for $550, including delivery.

“I’m angry, but more than anything, I feel really sorry for the people who are going to be caught up in this scandal,” said Guy A. Lepage explains. He believes Internet users will fall into the trap.

After several Canadian journalists were victims of identity theft on Twitter in recent days, Guy A. Here comes Lepage’s impersonation of the account.

Almost 72 hours after reporting the takeover of his account, Guy A. Lepage still couldn’t believe the bluebird’s “incompetence.” “There must have been a 10-minute game between the moment my account was hacked and when I denounced Twitter at the end of the day. »

A stiff response from customer service: “We’ll get back to you in a few days. »

Guy A. LePage did not recall performing a maneuver — for example clicking on a link — that could have led to the plagiarism.

Create confusion

For his part, Aaron Derfel, investigative journalist for the Daily Montreal Gazette Behind the CHSLD Heron scandal, the move that led to the hacking of his Twitter account on Thursday is well remembered. Via private message, a “representative” of the site informed the reporter that it would lose its accreditation for “violating the rules of the community”.

Image from screenshot

A link led to a form to challenge the decision. A simple click and the hacker captured @Aaron_Derfel. “Recently, Elon Musk talked a lot about fraudulent accounts, selling blue hooks, eliminating robots, the journalist notes. When I received the news, I thought: Well, this is following the line of Elon Musk. I think hackers are taking advantage of the confusion he caused. »

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Mr. Terfel was soon to receive this ransom message on his iPhone: “Hi Aaron, I’d like to sell you your Twitter account”. The hacker sent tons of private messages among the journalist’s 31,000 subscribers to phish them. On Twitter last Thursday, Mr. Terfel’s complaints went unheeded.

His colleague’s account, whether through him or not Montreal Gazette, Bill Brownstein, as well as CBC News journalists Hannah Thibedeau and Radio-Canada’s Catherine Gauthier were also caught by hackers. “I apologize to all my followers if their accounts were hacked by me,” said Mr. Terfel said.

Like other media figures, the (re)journalist, known for his Twitter threads on the Covid-19 pandemic, managed to find his avatar on Monday. Meanwhile, he started a new temporary account. “The irony is, after being hacked, the real me didn’t have a blue checkmark, the fake me did,” notes the man, who quickly tightened his security settings.

Are resources scarce?

In early November, the contractor behind SpaceX and Tesla laid off half of its Twitter workforce worldwide. “There’s been hacking before, Mr. Derfel notes, but I think the fact that Elon Musk made the layoffs makes the site more secure. »

According to journalist Montreal Gazette, Twitter and its leaders face legal action. “If a site of a certain age includes many coders, handover can be tricky,” notes Nadia Ceraiocco, a lecturer at UQAM’s School of Media. “In terms of security we are in a perfect storm, there are unfilled positions. »

According to a digital identity expert, the latest series of hacks can be linked to the leakage of personal data of around 5.4 million Twitter users. According to the Bleeping Computer site, the data was allegedly stolen in December 2021 due to a security breach, but it was released for free on a hacker forum late last November.

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Mme Seraiocco recommends Twitter users change their password to multi-factor authentication.

Guy A. Is LePage, powerless, afraid to leave behind forever the imposing network of subscribers that makes so many envious? Short silence: “Honestly, I didn’t do anything. I am totally disappointed with Twitter. I’ve had a lot of arrests – not for the interesting people I’ve been around for 10 years, but for propaganda, threats. I am very poor service and very disappointed with this company’s service. »

Whether the Twitter king in Quebec finds his crown or not, he’ll be more discreet, if not quiet. “When I lose faith in a company, it’s very hard to get it back. I’m not okay with it. »