Up until recently, Naoki Hiroshima was the owner of the @N Twitter username. Since one letter Twitter handles are rare, they’re worth a lot of money, which is why many people have tried to convince Hiroshima to sell it.
He says he has been offered as much as $50,000 (€36,000) for the username. However, not all attempts to obtain @N have been friendly.
Hiroshima, who is the creator of Cocoyon and an Echofon developer, says that hackers have often attempted to steal the Twitter account by resetting its password.
One of the hackers extorted him into handing over @N.
The cybercriminal managed to hack Hiroshima’s GoDaddy account. After he agreed to give up the username, the hacker explained how he had managed to trick GoDaddy and PayPal employees.
Initially, the attacker tried to trick Twitter into resetting the password by getting the social media company to send the password reset link to his email address. However, Twitter employees didn’t fall for the ruse.
PayPal and GoDaddy, on the other hand, haven't been that smart.
The hacker called up PayPal and social engineered an employee into handing over the last four digits of Hiroshima’s credit card number.
He then called up GoDaddy and used the information to prove that he was the owner of Hiroshima’s account.
By the time Hiroshima learned of the attack and tried to recover his account, all the information had been changed, making it appear as if he never actually owned it.
After the hacker threatened to delete all his websites and make sure that he would never recover his GoDaddy account, Hiroshima agreed to change the Twitter handle and allow the cybercriminal to take @N.
Hiroshima says he’s disappointed with the way GoDaddy and PayPal have handled the situation so he’s leaving them as soon as possible.
Currently, @N is associated with a locked account. On the other hand, there is a chance that Twitter will give Hiroshima his handle back.
You can check out Hiroshima’s blog for some advice on how not to fall victim to such an attack. Some of the recommendations come from the hacker himself.