Following The Twitter Hack Trail To DigitalGangster

One thing that didn’t make a lot of sense about the 33 celebrity Twitter accounts hacked this morning – the messages left on the various accounts weren’t consistent and were clearly written by different people with different agendas.

Fox News got “Breaking: Bill O Riley is gay,” and Rick Sanchez from CNN got “I am high on crack right now might not be coming into work today.” But other Twitter accounts had links to sites to generate affiliate revenue. Facebook’s Twitter account had a message pointing to (now shut down), which redirected to a porn site. President Elect Barack Obama’s account had a link to a site that offered a $500 gas card for taking a survey. Both had affiliate links associated with them.

Why were some sites simply defaced while others used to generate affiliate fees? It all seems to point back to one person that goes by “Gmz” on a hacker site called Digital Gangster (this site was also where Miley Cyrus photos were posted after they were taken from her hacked Gmail account). Gmz, says a source, obtained the account credentials for the Twitter accounts and then posted them on DigitalGanster. It was removed shortly afterward, but not before others grabbed the information and started to post on the various sites.

A later post on Digital Gangster asked “Who did it?” Gmz chimed into the thread, saying “That guy must have been a very generous individual. To hand out accounts rather than use that for profit. Could it be enough for respect or just enough for that user to be identified as an “idiot”?”

I’ve emailed Gmz from my new Digital Gangster account to confirm that he originally posted the credentials and I can’t wait to read his unlikely response. Twitter, of course, could follow up with Digital Gangster via their attorneys or the police and get access to that information. And it should be very easy to track the people who posted affiliate links on hacked Twitter accounts – just contact the affiliate companies and follow the money.

I wouldn’t be surprised if arrests were made in connection with all the Twitter drama this morning, once all this plays out.