Twitter handles can be valuable commodities, and no story better demonstrates that than one described by web developer Naoki Hiroshima. Originally published on his personal blog and then republished with permission by TheNextWeb, “How I lost my $50,000 Twitter username” describes the ordeal he went through when a hacker decided he wanted Hiroshima’s Twitter handle @N—registered to Hiroshima since 2007.
In a nutshell, a hacker decided he wanted @N and was going to do just about anything to get it—without paying any money, of course. To do so, according to the hacker himself (someone call “Ripley’s Believe It or Not”), he socially engineered his way into Hiroshima’s GoDaddy account, which controlled several of his website domains, in order to wrest control of @N from Hiroshima. Give up the Twitter handle and the hacker would take his hands off the throat of Hiroshima’s websites.
Extortion at its finest.