A very interesting article on CNET News caught my attention. The headline “Coveted $50,000 Twitter username swiped in tale of woe” intrigued me on more than one level. First, of course, are the security issues. Definitely read the article, and track back to the blog post, to get an idea of how vulnerable your online accounts can be.
Second, was the fact that a username could have such a value. Maybe it’s time to start thinking creatively and reserving free account names that may become desirous later. Hmmm . . . wonder if @Personal_Injury is available?
Although the latest update to the story includes a strong denial from PayPal about divulging information which allowed the hacker to hijack the user’s accounts, I tend to believe the user, Naoki Hiroshima. There are tons ways a “confused caller” can get small bits of information over the phone; enough to later claim an account.
PayPal’s name has been associated with all sorts of online fraud, almost since they first started. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not PayPal itself, but nefarious individuals who have exploited their name for phishing and identity theft schemes since day one. For that reason alone, I have long advised attorneys to use something other than PayPal for credit card service (merchant account) their clients can use to pay. Just the association to the name still leaves a chill of risk for many who remember the horror stories.