Twitter Hack Analysis: “U Didn’t See Them”
Twitter is still irrelevant enough to the texture of life that widespread spam-hacks don’t seem to ruffle any feathers (or at least don’t cause the mass panic that total outages tend to): users just change their passwords, issue any necessary apologies, and move lazily on down the infostream.
Sunday’s mass-hack, which I’d refer to as the “U Didn’t See Them” or “OMG Your In This” spam-bomb, hijacked real accounts to send direct messages that included a Facebook URL for a video allegedly taken of the recipient without their knowledge. The idea is that you live such a disgusting, reprehensible life and/or exhibit such narcissism that you’d immediately click through and find out how you’ve been exposed to the social hive mind, regardless of what passwords you have to punch in to get there.
I suspected something was amiss when acclaimed poet Eileen Myles sent me such a message, not least because it was riddled with typos and grammatical errors—she also doesn’t know who I am—but I enjoy following up on scams and found that, before you could watch this salacious clip of yourself, you were prompted to download a flash player update or similar .exe file. It’s not worth finding out what the real content was here, and yet part of me wonders if the hackers just wanted to enhance our internet experience with the latest software patches.
Benevolent computer nerds? Please, let’s at least pretend it could happen.