Someone hacked the Twitter account of ZDNet colleague, Dennis Howlett, exposing security as a serious Twitter weakness.
Dennis described the incident in a blog post titled, "I'm a porn star:"
For several hours this evening my 3,000+ Twitter followers thought I was a 23 year old porn star. No - I'm not giving out the link but apparently my account had been hacked. I wouldn't mind except I see my Twitter account as something of value and while many of my regular followers saw it as a joke it is far from funny.
On the surface, the hack might seem funny, and one can easily imagine the jokes it could inspire. However, for the victim, such attacks represent a serious problem indeed.
Aside from the inconvenience of repairing the damage, identity theft can hurt precious reputations and damage valuable relationships. Imagine a work associate receiving a hacked Twitter private message - how would the recipient even know the account had been hacked?
Although rapid growth takes many social networking vendors by surprise, it does not alleviate the vendor's obligation to maintain proper security. Twitter has not adequately met its responsibility to protect users.