Lady Gaga has made a name for herself across the globe as an award winning musical artist, gay icon and philanthropist, having raised tens of millions of dollars for causes such as the Japan tsunami relief fund, Haiti reconstruction and HIV/AIDS. But earlier today, it seemed like her generosity had reached new and astounding heights, when her Twitter account was hacked.
For several hours, a tweet was up on the singing superstar’s profile, promising to give free iPad 2s to each and every one of her 17 million followers:
Telling her followers that this generous gift was being offered “in the spirit of the holidays”, users were directed to click on a link in the tweet, which took them to a less-than-reputable website that demanded various personal details, asked users to sign up for several special offers, and then told them to tell their friends to join in on the action, in order to qualify for the "free" product.
TechCrunch also reports that another similar tweet had briefly preceded that one, promising free MacBook computers to everyone, but it was quickly pulled. At least one further identical tweet appeared, before Lady G later tweeted herself to confirm that the account had indeed been hacked, but that order has since been restored.
It turns out that Gaga’s wasn’t the only Twitter account targeted in this way. A near-identical tweet appeared on Nelly Furtado’s account today as well; the only difference was the way that Nelly’s tweet addressed her followers directly (“dearies”, rather than Lady Gaga’s “monsters”).
By the way, for those of you who haven’t done the math yet, 17 million entry-level iPad 2s at $499 each, for all of Gaga’s followers, would have run up a bill of almost $8.5bn. I wonder if Apple would have given her a bulk-buy discount.
Images via TechCrunch