Hackers have unleashed on celebrity Twitter accounts over the past fortnight, targeting the likes of Katy Perry, Bon Iver, Tenacious D, Drake, Kylie Jenner and Tame Impala and now we’ve been offered an explanation.
Hackers caused a major ruckus for celebrities these past few weeks, making fans believe momentarily that Jack Black might be dead (it’s ok, he’s not), Katy Perry loves Taylor Swift again (who really knows, but probably not) and Tame Impala sent airlines bomb threats (of course they didn’t). Thankfully we all figured out pretty quickly that these were all hacks, but ~apparently~ there’s an important lesson to be learnt about online security in this.
The alleged hacker behind Tame Impala’s rogue tweets, although conveniently not the bomb threats, goes by the name J5Z and is from Canada. Apparently they hack accounts because they have, “no friends irl,” as they told The Daily Beast.
“I’m not here to cause harm,” the alleged hacker said. “I’m here to help people.”
They operate under the Twitter handle @j5zlol, an account which has now been suspended, and apparently they’re only doing it to teach people a lesson about online security.
“At first I did this for fun, but I never wanted to do this to ruin people’s careers,” the user said.
“I’m just doing it to prevent that from ever happening in case someone who knows how to do it comes along and possibly does some damage. I don’t want to be seen as a bad person, even though I’m most likely being seen like that already.”
In addition to the Tame Impala hack, J5Z claims to be responsible for hacking the accounts of deceased Beatle George Harrison, Cody Simpson, Keith Richards and Bon Iver. J5Z said that they know the people hacking the other accounts, although they’re not going to give names.
“It is down to them if they want to admit if they done it or not.”
J5Z also said that they’re not responsible for Tame Impala’s tweets that warned Jet Blue of a bomb planted on one of their planes. “That was a ‘friend’,” they said.
It seems that J5Z sees themselves as a bit of an online Superman saying, “I’m here to help people.”
J5Z, apparently, is here to help people by raising awareness about online security so that celebrities and us mere mortals can prevent more devastating online attacks.
“Use multiple emails, passwords, etc. Don’t use the obvious stuff like your (date of birth) or name in your password or email,” they said.
“Stop using information that anyone can guess.”
J5Z said they tried to teach that same lesson to George Harrison without knowing that he had passed away in 2001 and perhaps no longer cares about his online security.
“Hey George, follow @j5zlol when you see this and shoot me a DM. I’ll help you secure your accounts 🙂 I don’t want to cause you any harm, bud,” they wrote on Harrison’s Twitter account.
When they realised what they wrote, “Well shit, I hacked someone and I didn’t even know they was dead…my bad”.
While J5Z didn’t reveal how they hacked the accounts, they did sayall of them were executed using the same method. Apparently there’s only one way to stop it: “Change your password”.
“The method is simple, yes. Anyone can do it. It’s just they don’t know how to.”