The WWW is abuzz with news about a certain hacker named “Hacker Croll”, who gained access to confidential and corporate documents of Twitter and Twitter’s employees by hacking through e-mail accounts. The hacker went on to forward a zip file containing some 310 documents to TechCruch, the tech news site. In his e-mail to TechCrunch, the hacker claimed that he will soon be releasing the entire document set online to the public.
The documents compromised include Twitter’s financial projections, a pitch about a reality TV show based on Twitter, some documents showing the names of people who interviewed at Twitter for various senior level positions, documents showing floorplans and security passcodes to get into the Twitter offices, product plans, notes from executive strategy meetings, food preferences of the employees and more.
While TechCrunch drew a flak from its visitors about the site’s decision to release certain documents on its website, it still went ahead with its plan. The site has released a document that includes information on Twitter’s reality show pitch. A pdf file of the reality show’s pitch can be downloaded here. After reading the pitch, I feel that the show would be a loser, if it did go live.
The reality television show is called Final Tweet and is modeled around “The Amazing Race”. The pitch: four teams of â€œyoung entrepreneursâ€ battle with non-profit organizations to win a cash prize of $100,000. Theyâ€™ll travel across the U.S. and live off â€œlimited cash.â€
The rest of the pitch: â€œIn this choose your own adventure type journey the players rely partially on the influence and knowledge of their twitter followers and supporters, the strength of their teamwork, and their ambition to advance them from spot to spotâ€¦.. and bringing them one step closer to that final tweetâ€¦Teams will unite, squabble and laugh, looking forward to what Twitter Headquarters has up their sleeves. Twitter followers at home will live and play their journey as the teams document themselves by tweeting updates.â€
The full pitch can be downloaded here.
Meanwhile, in a post from co-founder Biz Stone, the company has said that with the exception of a single account, none of Twitter user’s personal information seems to have been exposed as a result of the hack. But before establishing that, Biz Stone goes out of its way to explain that Twitterâ€™s security problems are Twitterâ€™s security problems, not cloud computingâ€™s security problems or Googleâ€™s (GOOG) security problems.
It’s important to note that the stolen documents which were downloaded and offered to various blogs and publications are not Twitter user accounts nor were any user accounts compromised (except for a screenshot of one person’s account and we contacted that person and recommended changing their password). This was not a hack on the Twitter service, it was a personal attack followed by the theft of private company documents. Nevertheless, as they were never meant for public communication, publishing these documents publicly could jeopardize relationships with Twitter’s ongoing and potential partners. We’re doing our best to reach out to these folks and talk over any questions and concerns. However, our goal remains focusing on the most important business at handâ€”creating value for users and building the best possible Twitter service.