Twitter Gives Back The $50K @N Handle To Naoki

Twitter TWTR

Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) has finally done justice to Naoki Hiroshima, ending his harrowing tale on a happy note. Naoki, the creator of Cocoyon and Echofon apps, had (and now has) the coveted Twitter handle @N. At one point, he was offered a whopping $50,000 to sell this user name, which he had politely declined. But he had to give in to an aggressive hacker, who put Naoki’s entire business at risk and threatened him to give up his @N handle. Twitter has finally given back the valuable username to its rightful owner, though it took the company more than three weeks.

Why Twitter took so long

Late last month, Naoki said that many people had attempted to steal his Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) user name. But one troll used social engineering techniques to force him to give up that user name. The hacker first gained access to Naoki’s PayPal account. The hacker called PayPal, and using some sneaky tactics, obtained the last four digits of Naoki’s credit card from the agent. He then called GoDaddy, telling the web hosting company that he has lost his credit card, but remembered the last four digits of the card number. Remember, this guy presented himself as Naoki Hiroshima while talking to the GoDaddy agent.

Thus, the troll gained access to Naoki’s PayPal, GoDaddy and email accounts. He tried to hack Naoki’s Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) account, but couldn’t because Naoki had used a different email address for his Twitter account. Then he emailed Naoki and asked him to give up his Twitter user name or lose his entire website data on GoDaddy. The poor guy had no other option but to do what the hacker had asked. Naoki then created another handle @Naoki_is_stolen.

GoDaddy changes its policies after the incident

It’s still unclear what happened behind the scenes at GoDaddy and PayPal, and why Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) took so long to return the respective account to Naoki Hiroshima. Naoki’s nightmare is a cautionary tale for millions of Internet users. At least GoDaddy learned something from the incident, and made some policy changes to verify the account credentials.

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About the Author

Vikas Shukla
Vikas Shukla has a strong interest in business, finance, and technology. He writes regularly on these topics. - He can be contacted by email at or on Twitter @VikShukla10