Gizmodo's Twitter account hacked

Gizmodo's Twitter account was hacked today. It was breached through a former employee's Twitter account, which appears to have been hacked first.
Written by Emil Protalinski, Contributor

Update on August 5 - How Apple let a hacker remotely wipe an iPhone, iPad, MacBook

Gizmodo's Twitter account was hacked on Friday by a group called Clan VV3. The breach didn't last long, but it was enough to send racist and offensive messages to the account's 415,000 followers.

The attackers apparently gained access to the Gizmodo account after compromising former employee Mat Honan's e-mail and Twitter account. Here is what Gizmodo's account tweeted:

Clanvv3 dot Com HIT US UP, CLAN VV3, Clan VV3 (dot) com
This twitter got a train ran over it by Clan VV3, Clan VV3 (dot) com
Follow @Fend YouTube.com/Fend I HATE N*****S LOL
Go to Youtube.com/Fend @Fend
Follow @vip you stupid coons
We all hate n*****s! http://Ihaten*****sbecausetheylooklikeapes.com

Gizmodo quickly regained control of the account. At first, the site blamed Honan for the tweets:

Well that was fun! @mat is not to be trusted with Twitter passwords. More info coming later.

When it became clear it was hardly his fault, Gizmodo apologized to all its followers:

To be clear, a former Gizmodo employee's Twitter account appears to have been hacked, and that is how those tweets appeared on @Gizmodo.
Apologies to those who saw those tweets. And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Indeed, at the time of writing, Gizmodo is already back to tweeting its usual stories out. Unfortunately, the story doesn't end there. Honan's account is still hijacked:

@otko_ @joemfbrown Oh, @blam knows. He's just trolling. Don't worry, I reported him as spam.
Clan Vv3 and Phobia hacked this twitter
JUst hacked @gizmodo, now @mat Clanvv3 (DOT) COM
Follow @Fend @VIP http://Youtube.com/Fend
"Clan" in Clan Vv3 stands for "ClanVv3 loves all n*****s!
herherher just kidding, we hate n*****s, they smell
@Gizmodo 2 Of those implications are wrong.
ClanVv3 (DOT) Com Runz mat.
@gizmodo Tell this dumbass employee mat hes an idiot for using in-secure email services, having a 3 letter twitter, and having access to giz
Follow @fend @vip Subscribe https://www.youtube.com/fend
@rssgvegas @Gizmodo Why? Because I f**ing hate n*****s? You'r f***ing racist, asshole.
youtube.com/watch?v=riqGEieSN-U&feature=plcp … LIKE/FAVOURITE
youtube.com/watch?v=riqGEieSN-U&feature=plcp … LIKE/FAVOURITE
@TheGoatweed @NorthPaulJ @Gizmodo Nope, my name is Andy Kinnison, f***ing bastard. You come at me, I'll flatten you.
I live at 2500 Mann Rd Lot 185 In Clarkston Michigan. My names Andy Kinnison. Come at me @insomniac_03
Dont follow me guys, follow @fend and @vip and sub to http://Youtube.com/Fend
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riqGEieSN-U&feature=plcp …
@EstyJuncal @Gizmodo yeah Im back all these tweets are from me... clanvv3 (dot) com
Our press release - http://pastebin.com/q6W2DJDk
@MalasMind http://pastebin.com/q6W2DJDk http://Youtube.com/fend
@strngwys @inthefade No Im Andy Kinnison from Clarkston mixigan
http://pastebin.com/q6W2DJDk and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riqGEieSN-U&feature=plcp …
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riqGEieSN-U … Get this b**** 500 views and ill give the twitter back
If any of you guys aren't f*****s and have a xbox and wanna play gta4 or mw2 with me, hit me up on aim "Reset@love.com" or DM
Any of you f*****s got xbox..
@TerryBain F*** Barack, hes black. Go Mitt Romney
@jimray @Gizmodo They didn't.
@toddjolmstead I hope so
@missambear I got my account back.
Everyone please go follow @nerzix
All black people smell awful and have primal instincts because of their simian heritage. It also explains their low intelligence. #DuFFY

A quick check on the hackers' websites shows that Gizmodo and Honan are hardly the first victims. Clan VV3 has hacked the following Twitter accounts before, ranging from just a few thousand followers to hundreds of thousands (Tami Roman appears to be their biggest victim to date):

  • https://twitter.com/mannystreetz
  • https://twitter.com/Kristinia
  • https://twitter.com/#!/WhitneyCummings
  • https://twitter.com/#!/TheGinaLynn
  • https://twitter.com/#!/JennaRose3xo
  • https://twitter.com/#!/stacyfrancis
  • https://twitter.com/FrugalBookPromo
  • https://twitter.com/itsyonas
  • https://twitter.com/muffinismylover
  • https://twitter.com/TamiRoman
  • https://twitter.com/scitechFB
  • https://twitter.com/michiokaku
  • https://twitter.com/vh1Feisty
  • https://twitter.com/harrispetaluma

I have contacted Twitter about this breach. I will update you if and when I hear back.

Update at 8:15 PM PST - Honan's Twitter account has been suspended.

Update at 11:30 PM PST - Honan has created a Twitter new account: @mathonan.

Update on August 4 - Apparently the hackers got access to Honan's iCloud account and decided to remote wipe his iPhone, iPad, and MacBook Air. You can read his unfortunate hacking story on his personal blog here: Emptyage.

Update on August 5 - How Apple let a hacker remotely wipe an iPhone, iPad, MacBook

See also:

Editorial standards