Posted by: David Harley | April 3, 2010

Twitter hoaxes, muppets, and the cult of celebrity

Perhaps it’s an age thing, but I don’t actually find the wit and wisdom of most celebrities (as in people who are famous for little more than being famous) worth much of my time. However, the estimable Graham Cluley just put up a blog about the escapades of one Nicole Richie. I’m afraid I had to look her up: apparently she’s the adopted daughter of Lionel Richie (of whom I have heard), and an American socialite and personality. I guess you have to be a celebrity to have a personality.

Graham tells us that she was exposed as “the person behind a number of unusual tweets on Thursday from the Twitter accounts of reality TV star Kim Kardashian and her boyfriend Joel Madden.” Sorry, I couldn’t be bothered to look them up. Apparently Ms Kardashian and Mr Madden took it in good part that their Twitter accounts were hacked.

(Kim, she apparently got your sister Khloe – no, I didn’t look her up either – to give her your password. In the world I move in, that isn’t usually considered the height of l33t [elite] hacking. And we tend to be more cautious about sharing our passwords, too, in general. )

Anyway, Graham makes several sound points about this incident, and the current popularity of embarrassing your friends by publishing embarrassing comments that seem to come from them on their Facebook (“fraping”) or other accounts. To me, this seems so close to what in other contexts we call cyber-bullying as to be indistinguishable. And not much different in principle to Londoning (stealing someone’s account credentials so as to send fraudulent messages to their contacts asking for financial help – see http://www.eset.com/blog/2010/03/23/londoning-mugs-and-muggings-revisited for more information on how that works).

I guess I just don’t know how to have fun. Well, given that we’re both spending the weekend commenting on media fluff like this, I suppose Graham needs to get a life, too.

David Harley FBCS CITP CISSP
Mac Virus
Small Blue-Green World
AVIEN Chief Operations Officer
ESET Research Fellow & Director of Malware Intelligence

Also blogging at:
http://www.eset.com/blog
http://avien.net/blog/
http://smallbluegreenblog.wordpress.com/
http://blogs.securiteam.com
http://blog.isc2.org/
http://dharley.wordpress.com

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Responses

  1. […] "Twitter hoaxes, muppets, and the cult of celebrity" takes issue with the common practice of impersonating other people by posting in their name to their Facebook accounts, Twitter accounts, and so on. Is "fraping" (an ugly contraction of Facebook + raping) significantly different to cyber-bullying or Londoning?  Or am I just a grumpy old man? […]

  2. […] "Twitter hoaxes, muppets, and the cult of celebrity" takes issue with the common practice of impersonating other people by posting in their name to their Facebook accounts, Twitter accounts, and so on. Is "fraping" (an ugly contraction of Facebook + raping) significantly different to cyber-bullying or Londoning?  Or am I just a grumpy old man? […]


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