Culture Desk

Is Twitter hacker of Burger King and Jeep a New England DJ?

For a nanosecond, it was huge news this week. Burger King had been bought by McDonalds? And then the nanosecond was over and, because the news was announced in a bizarre fashion on Burger King’s Twitter feed, @BurgerKing, it was obvious that a hacker was to blame.

And then it happened to Jeep too and its Twitter handle @Jeep.

Today, the website Gizmodo claims to have the scoop, that the hacker is a DJ, Tony “iThug” Cunha, who regularly plays clubs in Boston, Providence and around New England.

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Here is a key passage from Gizmodo’s lengthy piece, which used mostly Twitter and Facebook to create the trail that led to its conclusion:

The path to the hilariously defaced @BurgerKingaccount (and @Jeep, in the exact same style) bends and whirls all the way back to 2005, when a crew of teen hackers known as Defonic Team Screen Name Club infamously cracked Paris Hilton’s T-Mobile Sidekick. Almost every noun in that sentence has aged poorly, and one juvenile member of the DTSNC was nabbed by cops and thrown into probation. Eight years later, it seems that a member of that crew—Tony “iThug” Cunha, an esteemed former hacker of MySpace pages—is back in action, and making the kind of juvenile screw-ups you’d expect from a 15-year-old.

For what it’s worth, Cunha’s Twitter account, @guhti_ has been suspended. (That’s ithug backwards.)

And @Jeep and@BurgerKing are keeping their senses of humor.

@Jeep tweeted late Tuesday: “Thanks BK. Let us know if you want to grab a burger and swap stories—we’ll drive.” And the Tweet before that read: “Hacking: Definitely not a #Jeep thing. We’re back in the driver’s seat!”

As for @BurgerKing, relief was evident there, too. “Interesting day here at BURGER KING, but we’re back! Welcome to our new followers. Hope you all stick around!

We suspect there will be more to come on this.

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