I have never been much of a community activist, but I can no longer sit idly while America remains at risk of attack by the most nefarious identity thief in the history of Internet. And cheap page views are to be had.
The Weinergate facts, as we so far know them: on May 28, @RepWeiner, the verified Twitter account of US Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY), posted a tweet of a y.frog photo of a slightly-built white male straining to pitch a pup tent in a pair of grey Hanes Underoos. Within seconds, Congressman Weiner arrived at the scene of the cybercrime and instantly recognized it as the work of a hacker who had simultaneously broken into his Twitter, Facebook and y.frog accounts. Working quickly, and without regard to his own safety, Congressman Weiner used his elite law school-honed internet security coding skills to wrest back control of his accounts, delete the offending tweet and photo, as well as unfollow a Seattle coed to whom it was sent. His Twitter perimeter once again secured, the intrepid Congressmen sent out a new tweet explaining how he was victimized by an Internet criminal mastermind.
Since the incident, the famously modest Congressman Weiner had remained demure on how he single-handedly thwarted his anonymous attacker, and how the attacker managed to possibly steal his Blackberry camera phone. And, for whatever reason, has thusfar also chosen not to involve the law enforcement authorities.
As much as I admire Congressman Weiner's Gandhi-like forgiving attitude toward his assailant - as well as his world class ninja programming skills - I'm afraid this incident doesn't just involve him. For, after all, what Internet user is safe when the person who hacked this unsuspecting Weiner remains at large? Okay, maybe not "large," but still, come on man. Who's to say this same criminal hasn't somehow hacked my last 5 federal income tax returns with fraudulent deductions for alcohol-related blogging expenses?
I say no - we cannot as an online community let this tragic crime go unpunished. That it why I am announcing the Weiner Hacker Prize Fund to award a generous bounty for information leading to the arrest, prosecution and conviction of Pubic Enemy #1 - the pervert who stole Congressman Weiner's underpants identity. To get things rolling, I will seed it with $1000 of my own personal 2010 federal tax refund. I am leaving the comments section on this post open for anyone who would like to add their own contribution to the bounty, as well as tips and clues to pass on to law enforcement officials. Please though - do not interfere with any official crime investigation. Let's leave the detective work to hardboiled gumshoes like Jim Treacher and Ace of Spades.
So let's get involved and work to get this mysterious criminal off our online streets. Until he is brought to justice, remember: You May Already Be a Weiner.
UPDATE 6/7/2011: Weiner Hacker Prize now increased to $2000.
UPDATE 6/7/2011: Weiner Hacker Prize now increased to $3000.
UPDATE 6/7/2011: Weiner Hacker Prize now increased to $14.4 trillion.
Weiner: Victim / Hero of Weinergate