Before the hackers hacked Twitter on Wednesday and damaged some high-profile accounts, someone posted an account sale on the Grey Market website,media reported. The grey site is designed to facilitate account trading on popular sites including Twitter, as well as Netflix, Instagram and Minecraft.
Advertisers promise to leak emails linked to a Twitter account to buyers for as little as $250. For as little as $2,500, the buyer can own the account and ensure the buyer’s satisfaction.
The ad posted said: “If you don’t receive an email/ and you get a full refund for whatever reason.” The ad also depicts the Twitter account with the hashtag.
Hudson Rock, an Israeli company, provided the media with screenshots of the ad. The company monitors stolen credentials and data breaches on online forums. The ad suggests that Twitter is not doing well at the moment – an early sign.
Twitter is still struggling with the hijacking of a large number of VIP accounts. The hijacked VIP accounts include those of reality TV star Kim Kardashian, rapper Kanye West, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.
While the details of the hack have been watched and are being investigated by Twitter and the FBI, news of the hack has been circulating early on a gamer and Instagram account exchange forum – suggesting that the incident is likely to be related to low-level cybercrime rather than a national attack.
“It doesn’t look like a sophisticated hacking organization,” said Roy Carthy, chief executive of Hudson Rock.
An administrator at OGUsers, an account trading forum, confirmed the authenticity of the screenshots, telling the media that they immediately froze the accounts of users who posted the ads when the forum’s managers realized what had happened.
He added that the site explicitly prohibits trading accounts obtained through hacking. In theory, social media companies such as Twitter and Instagram are banned from trading accounts, but the regulator said it was widely accepted that internet companies could “choose when to enforce this rule”.
“If it’s a more sophisticated attack, it’s rigging the stock market,” Casey said. “