Several weeks ago, the Internet was abuzz with the story of how hackers had taken advantage of idiocy at Paypal and GoDaddy to hijack developer Naoki Hiroshima’s personal website and hold it hostage until he handed over the keys to his coveted @N Twitter handle. Now comes the good news that Twitter has finally put that account back under the control of the person it originally belonged to.
For those coming late to the game, here’s the backstory. Hiroshima was an early adopter of Twitter and was thus able to score the @N handle way back in 2007. Since then, he’d received numerous cash offers from legitimate and sketchy sources, and hackers had tried unsuccessfully to attack his various accounts tied to that Twitter handle so they could take control of it.
Then in early 2014, he first learns that someone tried, but failed, to access his PayPal account. But in that attempt, the hacker was able to glean information about Hiroshima that was then used to change ownership of his personal site. The hackers then held the site hostage until Hiroshima gave up control of the @N Twitter account.
While both GoDaddy and PayPal later admitted that maybe they had screwed up, Twitter was dragging its feet on the matter. It booted whoever had taken over the @N handle from Hiroshima, but then the account was immediately snapped up by some other sketchy non-human that was not the person who had created it nearly seven years earlier.
And then on Tuesday evening, a happy Tweet finally came from the @N account:
Order has been restored.—
Naoki Hiroshima (@N) February 25, 2014
This is a happy ending not only for me but also for sane employees and loyal users of Twitter's. Congrats to those, too.—
Naoki Hiroshima (@N) February 26, 2014
No idea what took so long for Twitter to restore this account, but we’re glad it’s back where it belongs.