Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 01 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Coverage of Gaza in the Israeli media

Read more

REPORTERS

1914-1918: The Depths of Hell

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 01 August 2014

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Exclusive: Israel's US ambassador speaks to FRANCE 24

Read more

#THE 51%

World War One: The war that changed women’s lives

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Ségolène Royal goes for green

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

A look back at some of the Observers' best stories

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults: Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds' (part 2)

Read more

  • Israeli soldier feared captured, ceasefire 'over'

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Israel's US ambassador speaks to FRANCE 24

    Read more

  • Air France ground workers to strike on August 2

    Read more

  • Rogue general denies Islamist seizure of Benghazi

    Read more

  • Ugandan court strikes down anti-gay legislation

    Read more

  • 1914-1918: The Depths of Hell

    Read more

  • Regional summit to tackle deadly Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • French hospital to open wine bar for terminally ill patients

    Read more

  • Video: Tipping is dying out in French café culture

    Read more

  • €2.5 million in cocaine ‘disappears’ from Paris police HQ

    Read more

  • Appeal court keeps French rogue trader Kerviel in jail

    Read more

  • Interactive: France’s new plan to counter jihadism in Africa

    Read more

  • Ukrainian army suffers losses in separatist attack

    Read more

  • Argentinian markets plummet following default

    Read more

  • French Jews speak of growing fear in Paris amid Gaza conflict

    Read more

Business

French police arrest hacker who fooled Twitter

Video by Siobhán SILKE , Nicolas Rushworth

Text by Sébastian SEIBT

Latest update : 2010-03-25

French police have arrested a man known as "Hacker Croll" who infiltrated several high-profile Twitter accounts, including those of US President Barack Obama and pop star Britney Spears, and once described his philosophy as “I hack, therefore I am”.

France’s most famous hacker was arrested on Wednesday in the central city of Clermont-Ferrand after a 9-month joint investigation between French police and the FBI. The 25-year-old unemployed man was later released and ordered to appear in court on June 24.

“Hacker Croll”, as he was known online, will have to explain how he managed to infiltrate the email accounts of several employees – including those of Twitter boss Evan Williams and his wife. From there, “Hacker Croll” succeeded in harvesting even more passwords. His key find: the micro-blogging site’s administration code, which allowed him to extend his control all over Twitter.

“Hacker Croll” shot to prominence in July 2009 after he sent 310 pages of stolen documents to technology blogs like TechCrunch and Korben. He leaked mostly futile information, such as notes for a reality TV game on the Web, offices floor plans, or the food preference of several Twitter employees… But he also released some sensitive data, such as financial projections relating to Twitter’s profitability.

‘Hackito ergo sum’

Officials believe the French youth acted alone and was driven by the challenge of hacking into the popular social-networking site. “Hacker Croll” appears to have been more interested in the private life of celebrities.

“He's a young man spending time on the Internet. He acted as though it were a bet, out of defiance. He is the sort who likes to claim responsibility for what he has done,” said French prosecutor Jean-Yves Coquillat.

In an interview with specialist blogs Korben and Zataz, the hacker denied using the Twitter accounts of pop singer Britney Spears or US President Barack Obama to spread false information. “Hacking Croll” told Zataz he never had the “intent to harm or destroy” but that his philosophy was simply “Hackito ergo sum” – I hack, therefore, I am.

His online attacks have forced Twitter to reinforce its online security measures and change its passwords. French police said “Hacker Croll” had also managed to infiltrate Facebook and Gmail accounts, adding that he was involved in several minor scams on the Web.

Date created : 2010-03-24

  • CHILE EARTHQUAKE

    Twitter tells the real-time story of the quake's human toll

    Read more

COMMENT(S)