Recently, numerous have had their Twitter accounts hacked. It began on May 30 with Katy Perry’s 89 million followers receiving numerous abusive tweets. Hackers also apparently leaked a demo of “Witness”, Perry’s new song. Over the June 4-5 weekend, musicians with fewer than one million followers had their accounts hacked. In the few days since then, Drake, Sonic Youth, Lana Del Ray, and George Harrison have also been hacked.
Australian psychedelic rock band Tame Impala got a bomb threat, Sonic Youth followers got a hoax announcement for a “surprise reunion concert”, and George Harrison’s bio was changed as a message from a “harmless” hacker with the handle @j5zlol. This hacker said he would help Harrison tighten his security if the rock star followed him on Twitter. Apparently @j5zlol didn’t get the message that George Harrison died in 2001…oops. When realizing his mistake, he tweeted “Well shit I hacked someone and I didn’t even know they was dead.. my bad”. Since then, his account has been suspended.
NME reports that many hackers are behind the recent string of events, but @j5zlol has claimed responsibility for a few. J5Z says he is from Canada and has claimed he was behind the hacks on Tame Impala, Keith Richards, Bon Iver, Nick Warren, and Cody Simpson, as well as the George Harrison hack. He told The Daily Beast that he hacks Twitter accounts because he has no friends offline.
One thing he does deny, however, is the Tame Impala bomb threat. The hacker maintains that this was by another hacker and that he just wants to help raise awareness about online security. J5Z commented:
“At first I did this for fun, but I never wanted to do this to ruin people’s careers. I’m just doing it to prevent that from ever happening in case someone who knows how to do it comes along and possibly does some damage. I don’t want to be seen as a bad person, even though I’m most likely being seen like that already”.
This Canadian hacker also says he knows the people behind the other hacks, but insists it’s the responsibility of those people to come forward. He refuses to name any names.
While some hackers post racist and threatening Tweets, and others are looking for more Snapchat followers, J5Z insists his hacking is a public service announcement. He states that people need to tighten up their security, celebrities and non-celebrities alike