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Berkens sues Twitter over hacked account

Kevin Murphy, December 28, 2017, 12:57:49 (UTC), Gossip

Blogger and high-profile domain investor Mike Berkens of TheDomains.com has sued Twitter for allowing his account to be hacked and failing to rectify the problem.

As industry Twitter users will no doubt already be aware, Berkens’ account @thedomains came under the control of an unknown hacker on Friday last week.

The avatar was changed from the The Domains logo to the face of an East Asian man and tweets from the account began to sound out of character.

Despite the attack being reported to Twitter by Berkens and others (including yours truly), the account does not yet appear to have been returned to its proper owner.

In a complaint filed yesterday in Northern California, Berkens claims Twitter “still has done nothing to substantially acknowledge, investigate or respond to Plaintiffs’ complaint, and restore Plaintiffs’ access to the Account.”

The suit, which also names (as Does) the unknown hackers, has nine counts ranging from computer fraud to trademark infringement to negligence and breach of contract.

Berkens wants his account back, as well as damages. He’s currently tweeting from @thedomainscom as a temporary workaround.

The complaint, kindly donated by George Kirikos, can be read here (pdf).

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Comments (15)

  1. Rubens Kuhl says:

    If he hasn’t turned on two-factor authentication, it will be hard to prove any lack of security posture by Twitter that led to the incident.
    OTOH, they are taking much longer than they should to give him back the account…

  2. Twitter Legal says:

    Ha. A lawyer is suing us and hasn’t ready our terms of service? That’s rich.

    Here is a portion that’s important for him to review.

    5. Disclaimers and Limitations of Liability
    The Services are Available “AS-IS”

    Your access to and use of the Services or any Content are at your own risk. You understand and agree that the Services are provided to you on an “AS IS” and “AS AVAILABLE” basis. The “Twitter Entities” refers to Twitter, its parents, affiliates, related companies, officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, partners, and licensors. Without limiting the foregoing, to the maximum extent permitted under applicable law, THE TWITTER ENTITIES DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES AND CONDITIONS, WHETHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OR NON-INFRINGEMENT. The Twitter Entities make no warranty or representation and disclaim all responsibility and liability for: (i) the completeness, accuracy, availability, timeliness, security or reliability of the Services or any Content; (ii) any harm to your computer system, loss of data, or other harm that results from your access to or use of the Services or any Content; (iii) the deletion of, or the failure to store or to transmit, any Content and other communications maintained by the Services; and (iv) whether the Services will meet your requirements or be available on an uninterrupted, secure, or error-free basis. No advice or information, whether oral or written, obtained from the Twitter Entities or through the Services, will create any warranty or representation not expressly made herein.

    Limitation of Liability

    TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, THE TWITTER ENTITIES SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES, OR ANY LOSS OF PROFITS OR REVENUES, WHETHER INCURRED DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, OR ANY LOSS OF DATA, USE, GOOD-WILL, OR OTHER INTANGIBLE LOSSES, RESULTING FROM (i) YOUR ACCESS TO OR USE OF OR INABILITY TO ACCESS OR USE THE SERVICES; (ii) ANY CONDUCT OR CONTENT OF ANY THIRD PARTY ON THE SERVICES, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY DEFAMATORY, OFFENSIVE OR ILLEGAL CONDUCT OF OTHER USERS OR THIRD PARTIES; (iii) ANY CONTENT OBTAINED FROM THE SERVICES; OR (iv) UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS, USE OR ALTERATION OF YOUR TRANSMISSIONS OR CONTENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AGGREGATE LIABILITY OF THE TWITTER ENTITIES EXCEED THE GREATER OF ONE HUNDRED U.S. DOLLARS (U.S. $100.00) OR THE AMOUNT YOU PAID TWITTER, IF ANY, IN THE PAST SIX MONTHS FOR THE SERVICES GIVING RISE TO THE CLAIM. THE LIMITATIONS OF THIS SUBSECTION SHALL APPLY TO ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER BASED ON WARRANTY, CONTRACT, STATUTE, TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE) OR OTHERWISE, AND WHETHER OR NOT THE TWITTER ENTITIES HAVE BEEN INFORMED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF ANY SUCH DAMAGE, AND EVEN IF A REMEDY SET FORTH HEREIN IS FOUND TO HAVE FAILED OF ITS ESSENTIAL PURPOSE.

  3. Rick Schwartz says:

    When you think of 10 years of work down the drain and all the time and effort, it makes me sick.

    That’s before we even talk about Identity theft, credit card fraud and having 29,000 people thinking it is Mike Berkens behind the current posts and the harm that can potentially do.

    We can no longer depend on Twitter as users. That’s not a good thing!

    • Twitter Security says:

      Maybe should used a strong password, not MikeLovesJudy. also, 2FA.

      It’s like you always said when you use own domain name you in control. When you play in other sandboxes, you might get peed on.

      Take own advice!

  4. page howe says:

    so the twitter legal is funny, but brings up how new tech loves to disrupt and break rules and laws to gain again market share, but ….. then they love that T and C to protect them once they have market size….

    cant have it both ways, right is right.

    permanent beta cant be an excuse

    real world, real protections.

    page

  5. page howe says:

    oh and forgot to mention,.. hey World,

    did you know you can interact with customers and visitors by owning your own domain name and services, and not depending on social networks, who own the content, data and policies

    election fraud, over-saturation of ads, lack of control…..what if you could own and control your own connection to the www

    #domainnamesrelevant

    #directnavworks

    #happynewyear

    Page Howe

    • You beat me to it Page. Sooner or later, as people rely more on the internet, they will find better ways to control what is dear and near to them. Open Peer to Peer DNS and Blockchain Relevance will become more the norm in the coming decade.

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