By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, March 24th, 2010 — 2:33 pm

French police have arrested a hacker who sabotaged the account of US President Barack Obama in one of his attacks on the Twitter online social network, a police source said Wednesday.

The unemployed 25-year-old, who used the pseudonym “Hacker Croll,” was arrested in the Puy-de-Dome region of central France after an operation conducted jointly with US agents from the FBI that lasted several months.

He was in police custody in the city of Clermont-Ferrand.

The hacker had also attacked Facebook and email accounts operated by Google, the police source said, adding that he had never attempted to profit financially from his hacking activities.

He had managed to secure Twitter’s administrator codes and was able to create, modify or delete accounts at will, the source said, adding that the hacker set up a blog to share his discoveries.

The French hacker was known to police here for minor scams that had netted 15,000 euros (20,000 dollars), according to the police source.

The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) alerted French authorities to his presence on French territory in July last year.

At Top News, Amandeep Dhaliwal adds, “On Wednesday evening, a hacker by the name of ‘Hacker Croll,’ managing to compromise a Twitter administrative account, posted 13 screenshots of Twitter’s administrative console at different web sites.”

While one of the screenshots revealed the administrative information about President Obama’s Twitter account, another showed information about Britney Spears’ account, and yet another about Ashton Kutcher’s account. Coincidentally, one of the screenshots posted was of an internal inquiry of Twitter’s previous high-profile security episode, the Mikeyy Worm Attack!

The screenshots were apparently captured by Hacker Croll while he was logged into the account of Jason Goldman, Twitter’s director of product management. Croll managed to access Goldman’s Twitter account after hacking his Yahoo account, exploring the same weakness in Yahoo’s password-recovery system via which Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s e-mail account was hacked last year.


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