Risk

3/25/2010
01:15 PM
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President Obama's Twitter Account Hacked

French hacker is said to have guessed the President's password to illegally access his page on the micro-blogging service.

French police arrested a man Thursday for allegedly hacking into the Twitter accounts of U.S. President Barack Obama and other famous individuals.

Authorities said the 24-year-old Frenchman, who has not been identified, used the online pseudonym "Hacker Croll" while breaking into various Web sites.

The man was able to access Obama's Twitter page and other users' accounts simply by guessing passwords, French authorities said.

"He was a young man spending time on the Internet," said French prosecutor Jean-Yves Coquillat, according to London's Telegraph newspaper. "He acted as a result of a bet, out of the arrogance of the hacker. He is the type who likes to claim responsibility for what he has done," said Coquillat.

It's not clear whether the hacker was able to glean any sensitive information from Obama's Twitter account or from the other sites he broke into. He's accused of illegally accessing dozens of Twitter and Facebook pages.

If convicted, the hacker faces up to two years in prison on each count he's charged with.

French authorities reportedly worked with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation to monitor Hacker Croll's online activities and whereabouts, and to eventually bring him to justice.

More than any previous president, Obama has embraced technology for both political and personal purposes.

The president made extensive use of Facebook and other social networking sites during his election campaign last year, and is said to be as addicted to his Blackberry as any mid-level, corporate sales manager.

But Obama's technological bent could leave him more vulnerable than his predecessors to electronic crime. The White House has not officially commented on the matter.

InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on data center operational trends. Download the report here (registration required).

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