Patterico's Pontifications

10/17/2020

Twitter to Iowahawk: Oh, You Were Hacked? Interesting. How About You GFY? UPDATE: Fixed

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:38 pm



IMPORTANT UPDATE: As I was finishing this post, iowahawk regained control of his account — after three weeks of hassle.

Because he still doesn’t have his old tweets back, and because I had mostly composed the post anyway, and because it is a good example of corporate laziness, I am going to publish this post anyway. It’s instructive because it illustrates something about the treatment of people who can’t get such public attention. It reminds me of when 1&1 tried to steal my domain patterico.com, which I had renewed but they failed to process the renewal. They had done it to countless people, seemingly as part of an attempt to seize domains that had become valuable due to the sweat of the proprietor’s brow. Me, I got my domain back, because Andrew Breitbart put something about it on Drudge for me. The other people, as far as I know, never got any help, although I tried to help them.

Here is the original post:

Someone has hacked the Twitter account of iowahawk, an old friend of this blog, and Twitter Support is handling the situation by behaving like clueless lazy corporate buffoons.

The basic story is this: iowahawk used the same email address with his account from 2010, when he opened the account, until September 2020, when it was hacked. Shockingly, the hacker has changed the email associated with the account. Now they are ignoring his complaints because — well, see if you can guess the reason before reading further. Just close your eyes, make your guess, and then read on.

Yes, you guessed it: they won’t help him the email he provides in his support ticket is not the official email for his account. He has tried explaining to them that yes, the email was changed, because a hacker changed it. They do not seem to care. At all.

He still has access to the same email address that he used for that account from 2010-2020. It is an email address that I used to correspond with him as early as 2008. Indeed, it is an address that Twitter Support has used to contact him as recently as January 2020, when there was a suspicious login attempt. But they now claim ignorance of that same email address and refuse to lift a finger to help him.

By the way, I know it’s tempting to see this as part of Twitter’s jihad against conservatives, but I don’t think that’s persuasive — largely because iowahawk is not a conservative. Many of us became acquainted with him through links from Instapundit, a conservative/libertarian blog, but iowahawk has consistently pointed out that he is not a conservative, and is not really on anyone’s team. He’s just an incredibly funny and sharp guy, who has a bottomless passion for old cars, a friendly demeanor, and holds the increasingly rare view that there is more to life than politics. Although I have only met him once in person, I consider him an old friend, and I am beside myself over this.

Here is the entire infuriating story told from his point of view — using an alternative handle that has a fraction of the followers his old account had):

It’s enough to make you want to smash things. He has basically given up tweeting and will maintain that account to read Twitter but he is not planning to try to rebuild under a new handle — and why would he?

Someone with a real platform, not a forgotten tiny one like mine, should write about this. It is the kind of corporate überlaziness that drives normal people insane.

27 Responses to “Twitter to Iowahawk: Oh, You Were Hacked? Interesting. How About You GFY? UPDATE: Fixed”

  1. The thing about most of the free internet social media sites is that the users aren’t the customer, they (we) are the product. Their customers are the ad companies and the people they sell data to. I bet they get great customer service.

    Nic (896fdf)

  2. Patterico, let us know if there is anything we can do to help.

    Simon Jester (545ea7)

  3. Like I say, it looks to be fixed — sort of.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  4. it doesn’t seem like they are a very responsive site, well they were easily hacked a few months ago, you’re a member in good standing, why do they behave this way,

    bolivar de gris (7404b5)

  5. I’m so glad that Dave’s Car Service is back and running.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  6. If Burge had been a Democrat and/or progressive, Twitter would have fixed it posthaste and reported the hacker to the FBI.

    Since Burge is not part of the liberal elite, they didn’t care.

    At this point, I believe Republican politicians should push to break up the big tech companies, starting with Twitter, then FAAAM.

    Hoi Polloi (92d467)

  7. “If Burge had been a Democrat and/or progressive, Twitter would have fixed it posthaste and reported the hacker to the FBI.”

    Climb down off the cross. Nic’s analysis @1 is much more likely.

    Davethulhu (a625e5)

  8. There was a time when I used the same ID and password on many accounts. Now I don’t. I have a system for composing unique 20-character passwords that I can eventually figure out if I lose them, but then I use Lastpass to make sure I don’t lose them.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  9. Climb down off the cross. Nic’s analysis @1 is much more likely.

    It’s in-between. Nobody at Twitter is over 30, which makes the odds heavily weighted towards self-righteous progressives in customer service.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  10. It is hard to believe they have no archives or backups. Maybe this is their way of being subpoena-proof.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  11. The best thing about Iowahawk coming back is he’s getting into the spirit of the week and acting like a Russian bot.

    Dood is the best:

    David Burge
    @iowahawkblog
    ·
    In case you hadn’t heard, I was hacked a few weeks back; you can read tedious details on my burner account
    @KarmasJanitor
    .
    Looks like my old tweets have yet to be restored (along with my avi and profile pic), but I’m waiting a few days before whining to Twitter again.
    __ _

    David Burge
    @iowahawkblog
    ·
    Hello Twitter peoples again! I am David to gives you humor fun tweetings!!
    __ _

    David Burge
    @iowahawkblog
    ·
    I am much to enjoy the large American automobils and lady breasts, so please you to know this is me David!
    __ _

    David Burge
    @iowahawkblog
    ·
    I am also much to enjoys the football satruday! Let us hope for Bratislava Spartak to victor over much hated Dynamo Zagreb!!
    __ _

    harkin (7fb4c9)

  12. Lol people are sending him pics of eastern bloc cars to identify……
    _

    harkin (7fb4c9)

  13. It’s in-between. Nobody at Twitter is over 30, which makes the odds heavily weighted towards self-righteous progressives in customer service.

    Last year Twitter layoffs impacted 50% of the customer support staff, 21 people, and they outsourced CS opps. Most likely shared across a couple of other companies. Call centers aren’t known for being great at solving other than scripted problems, so something like this has to get escalated probably 3 levels, maybe more, and 2 of them are probably bots that just iterate till it times out and bounces up a level.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (1367c0)

  14. “Nobody at Twitter is over 30”
    _

    lol
    _

    harkin (7fb4c9)

  15. Bleg: Can somebody help me get someone back her old aol email address? She lost access to it sometime around July, because of switching devices – and the old device had memorized her password for so long that she no longer remembered it. She called me hoping I knew her password or had written down somewhere. She thinks maybe it will come to her. AOL kept telling her how she should get a new aol address which she would pay for (the old one was free) She had that address for over 20 years. She doesn’t need aol – she needs er email messages.

    Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7)

  16. About old tweets:

    https://blogs.loc.gov/loc/2017/12/update-on-the-twitter-archive-at-the-library-of-congress-2

    All tweets through December 31, 2017 (including subsequently deleted tweets) are preserved by the Library of Congress but I am not sure who can gain access to them.

    Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7)

  17. https://www.followersanalysis.com/download-someone-elses-twitter-archive

    This might be only what’s currently there but maybe somebody did this in the past with Iowahawk and can send him his old tweets.

    Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7)

  18. No Twitter. No Facebook. Fully informed.

    Life is good.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  19. I’m sympathetic but for pete’s sake – just enable 2FA and be done with it. This would never have happened had he enabled 2FA.

    Hopefully others will learn. Thankfully he has his account back.

    jeff (4de066)

  20. With 2FA you could lose access to your account. Maybe it was the password reset that enabled a hacker to take control of his account. The backdoor password reset is one way for a hacker to take control of an account. Answers to his security questions might have become known as the volume of his tweets grew and as his account got more followers and he got written about.

    Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7)

  21. 2fa (two factor authentication) instructions for Twitter.

    DRJ (aede82)

  22. Why havent they done that

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  23. and 2 of them are probably bots that just iterate till it times out and bounces up a level.

    Guys in Bangalore named “Bill”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  24. If your password is unique for the site, composed as per the following:

    https://xkcd.com/936/

    although many sites try to get you to use “approved”, but much poorer methods.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  25. In my experience with the Compuserve of old, the second level up was getting disconnected.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  26. “Nobody at Twitter is over 30”

    Also, “Don’t trust anyone under 30″

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

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