Influencers Blame AT&T for Social Media Account Hacks
- James Charles, Shane Dawson, Etika, King Bach, and Amanda Cerny were all targets of social media hacks on either their Instagram or Twitter accounts.
- The hacker posted several racist and homophobic comments from their pages, threatened to expose nude photos, and made claims regarding past controversies.
- Several of the stars blamed AT&T for the hacks, saying they are a result of the hacker switching SIM-card data.
Influencers Blame AT&T for the Hack
Several social media stars are blaming AT&T for a series of account breaches that seemingly involved the same hacker.
James Charles, Shane Dawson, Etika, Amanda Cerny, and King Bach were all victims of hacks on Twitter and Instagram over a three-day-long period.
“My ATT phone number was compromised earlier today and all of my social media accounts were therefore hacked too!” Beauty YouTuber James Charles wrote on Twitter Saturday. “Your fraud department just HUNG UP ON ME. Contact me immediately. This is a major security threat & my lawyer will be reaching out too.”
Influencer Amanda Cerny also criticized the phone provider, saying this isn’t the first time she’s fallen victim to an attack while paying for AT&T’s service.
“Second time My phone number was hacked because of human error within company at @ATT?!” she said “I have all possible steps of verification added after the first time again and my account was still compromised… time to switch carriers. Be careful out there everyone.”
“All the text messages went to his phone,” Internet comedian King Bach said in a video. “He could see everything I was typing in my phone, so when I changed my password, he saw what the fuck I changed it to. The store is closed. The customer service is trash. I was on the phone for hours just trying to figure this shit out and I couldn’t get no help, so bottom-line: you’re trash. T-mobile, holla at me. Sprint, holla at me. Verizon, holla at me.”
The three social media stars claim the hacker likely SIM-swapped their accounts, meaning the hacker would have had to call AT&T pretending to be one of the influencers.
Once they managed to convince AT&T they were the account owners, they could have requested that the carrier switch the phone number to a different SIM card that they owned. To do this, the hacker would have likely needed the influencers’ phone numbers beforehand.
AT&T has yet to comment on the situation, though the telecommunications giant currently faces a legal battle over a separate SIM-swapping incident.
History of the Hacks
Cerny and King Bach were the first to experience the hacks on Thursday. Both influencers’ Instagram accounts fell victim to the attack, and King Bach’s Twitter was also compromised.
Both accounts linked back to a Discord page apparently started by the hacker. The hacker also leaked several direct messages between King Bach and Justin Bieber.
Both King Bach and Cerny managed to reclaim their accounts soon after.
Another hack occurred Friday on YouTuber Shane Dawson’s Twitter account. This time, the hacker posted a series of offense messages, which included racist and homophobic language.
In one post, the hacker hearkened back to World War II, claiming Nazi Germany deserved to win World War II a tweet that also included the n-word.
The hacker also used homophobic slurs against James Charles and made unsubstantiated claims of having “intel on Jake Paul raping underage girls.”
The hacker also alluded to a controversy involving past comments Dawson made about having sexual relations with his cat on a podcast – comments which Dawson has repeatedly apologized for.
The hacker claimed to be a rich bitcoin hacker. They also claimed they were handing out Dawson’s password, linking back to the Discord page posted on Cerny and King Bach’s accounts.
Shortly after the hack began, Dawson or his team regained control of his account and deleted the offensive messages.
On Saturday, the hacker then gained control of Etika’s Twitter, an influencer who died by suicide in June.
While taking over Etika’s Twitter, the hacker alluded to the YouTuber’s death by making such comments as “I’m back alive! Currently chuckling with the boys” and “I’m currently drowning.”
On the same day, James Charles’ Twitter was also hacked. During the breach, the hacker continued to post offensive and racist comments and also threatened to expose Charles’ nude photos.
The beauty influencer later regained control of his account, with the hacker’s Twitter account has since being suspended.
James Charles Posts Nude Photo
The beauty guru then combatted the revenge-porn threats by posting his own nude photo.
“hi I got my account back,” he wrote. “Just case I ever get hacked again, here’s the ONLY nude I’ve ever taken! can’t threaten me with it now get a life.”
Following the move, many people criticized him for posting the photo. One person commented, “literally no one asked for this.”
“yeah well i didn’t ask to have my security and privacy threatened either,” the YouTuber replied, “so this is me taking back ownership of the situation, move on with your day.”
As the tweet slid into the realm of online memes, others seemingly made fun of the situation by posting their own nude photos using the same caption, including Ethan Klein of h3h3 Productions and podcaster Adam Grandmaison.
Many others still criticized the original post, calling it unnecessary.
Many others attempted to cover up his backside with other images.
here Twitter, you’re welcome pic.twitter.com/q4ftEYl9uz— mia💒 (@mialiciax) August 25, 2019
At the same time, several others came to James Charles’ defense, drawing parallels to recent hacks involving Bella Thorne and Whitney Cummings, both of whom were applauded for leaking their own nude photos after being hacked.
See what others are saying: (People) (Daily Dot) (Dexerto)
Schools Across the U.S. Cancel Classes Friday Over Unverified TikTok Threat
Officials in multiple states said they haven’t found any credible threats but are taking additional precautions out of an abundance of safety.
Schools in no fewer than 10 states either canceled classes or increased their police presence on Friday after a series of TikToks warned of imminent shooting and bombs threats.
Despite that, officials said they found little evidence to suggest the threats are credible. It’s possible no real threat was actually ever made as it’s unclear if the supposed threats originated on TikTok, another social media platform, or elsewhere.
“We handle even rumored threats with utmost seriousness, which is why we’re working with law enforcement to look into warnings about potential violence at schools even though we have not found evidence of such threats originating or spreading via TikTok,” TikTok’s Communications team tweeted Thursday afternoon.
Still, given the uptick of school shootings in the U.S. in recent years, many school districts across the country decided to respond to the rumors. According to The Verge, some districts in California, Minnesota, Missouri, and Texas shut down Friday.
“Based on law enforcement interviews, Little Falls Community Schools was specifically identified in a TikTok post related to this threat,” one school district in Minnesota said in a letter Thursday. “In conversations with local law enforcement, the origins of this threat remain unknown. Therefore, school throughout the district is canceled tomorrow, Friday, December 17.”
In Gilroy, California, one high school that closed its doors Friday said it would reschedule final exams that were expected to take place the same day to January.
According to the Associated Press, several other districts in Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Montana, New York, and Pennsylvania stationed more police officers at their schools Friday.
Viral Misinformation or Legitimate Warnings?
As The Verge notes, “The reports of threats on TikTok may be self-perpetuating.”
For example, many of the videos online may have been created in response to initial warnings as more people hopped onto the trend. Amid school cancellations, videos have continued to sprout up — many awash with both rumors and factual information.
“I’m scared off my ass, what do I do???” one TikTok user said in a now-deleted video, according to People.
“The post is vague and not directed at a specific school, and is circulating around school districts across the country,” Chicago Public Schools said in a letter, though it did not identify any specific post. “Please do not re-share any suspicious or concerning posts on social media.”
According to Dr. Amy Klinger, the director of programs for the nonprofit Educator’s School Safety Network, “This is not 2021 phenomenon.”
Instead, she told The Today Show that her network has been tracking school shooting threats since 2013, and she noted that in recent years, they’ve become more prominent on social media.
“It’s not just somebody in a classroom of 15 people hearing someone make a threat,” she said. “It’s 15,000 people on social media, because it gets passed around and it becomes larger and larger and larger.”
See what others are saying: (The Verge) (Associated Press) (People)
Jake Paul Says He “Can’t Get Cancelled” as a Boxer
The controversial YouTuber opened up about what it has been like to go from online fame to professional boxing.
The New Yorker Profiles Jake Paul
YouTuber and boxer Jake Paul talked about his career switch, reputation, and cancel culture in a profile published Monday in The New Yorker.
While Paul rose to fame as the Internet’s troublemaker, he now spends most of his time in the ring. He told the outlet that one difference between YouTube and boxing is that his often controversial reputation lends better to his new career.
“One thing that is great about being a fighter is, like, you can’t get cancelled,” Paul said. The profile noted that the sport often rewards and even encourages some degree of bad behavior.
“I’m not a saint,” Paul later continued. “I’m also not a bad guy, but I can very easily play the role.”
Paul also said the other difference between his time online and his time in boxing is the level of work. While he says he trains hard, he confessed that there was something more challenging about making regular YouTube content.
“Being an influencer was almost harder than being a boxer,” he told The New Yorker. “You wake up in the morning and you’re, like, Damn, I have to create fifteen minutes of amazing content, and I have twelve hours of sunlight.”
Jake Paul Vs. Tommy Fury
The New Yorker profile came just after it was announced over the weekend Paul will be fighting boxer Tommy Fury in an 8-round cruiserweight fight on Showtime in December.
“It’s time to kiss ur last name and ur family’s boxing legacy goodbye,” Paul tweeted. “DEC 18th I’m changing this wankers name to Tommy Fumbles and celebrating with Tom Brady.”
Both Paul and Fury are undefeated, according to ESPN. Like Paul, Fury has found fame outside of the sport. He has become a reality TV star in the U.K. after appearing on the hit show “Love Island.”
See what others are saying: (The New Yorker) (Dexerto) (ESPN)
Hackers Hit Twitch Again, This Time Replacing Backgrounds With Image of Jeff Bezos
The hack appears to be a form of trolling, though it’s possible that the infiltrators were able to uncover a security flaw while reviewing Twitch’s newly-leaked source code.
Hackers targeted Twitch for a second time this week, but rather than leaking sensitive information, the infiltrators chose to deface the platform on Friday by swapping multiple background images with a photo of former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
According to those who saw the replaced images firsthand, the hack appears to have mostly — and possibly only — affected game directory headers. Though the incident appears to be nothing more than a surface-level prank, as Amazon owns Twitch, it could potentially signal greater security flaws.
For example, it’s possible the hackers could have used leaked internal security data from earlier this week to discover a network vulnerability and sneak into the platform.
The latest jab at the platforms came after Twitch assured its users it has seen “no indication” that their login credentials were stolen during the first hack. Still, concerns have remained regarding the potential for others to now spot cracks in Twitch’s security systems.
It’s also possible the Bezos hack resulted from what’s known as “cache poisoning,” which, in this case, would refer to a more limited form of hacking that allowed the infiltrators to manipulate similar images all at once. If true, the hackers likely would not have been able to access Twitch’s back end.
The photo changes only lasted several hours before being returned to their previous conditions.
First Twitch Hack
Despite suspicions and concerns, it’s unclear whether the Bezos hack is related to the major leak of Twitch’s internal data that was posted to 4chan on Wednesday.
That leak exposed Twitch’s full source code — including its security tools — as well as data on how much Twitch has individually paid every single streamer on the platform since August 2019.
It also revealed Amazon’s at least partially developed plans for a cloud-based gaming library, codenamed Vapor, which would directly compete with the massively popular library known as Steam.
Even though Twitch has said its login credentials appear to be secure, it announced Thursday that it has reset all stream keys “out of an abundance of caution.” Users are still being urged to change their passwords and update or implement two-factor authentication if they haven’t already.