The 10 MacBooks hacker has returned to Twitter after some downtime to accomplish one of their biggest gets yet: The official Twitter account of actor LeVar Burton of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Reading Rainbow fame.
For months, Twitter has been plagued by a now-notorious hacker that has been stealing legacy verified accounts belonging to celebrities. And LeVar Burton’s account, with its more than 2.1 million followers, is the latest victim.
Following the hackers usual pattern, Burton’s account has already been locked, so only the account’s followers can see its tweets. The hacker has already posted one of their now-infamous “10 MacBooks” scam tweets, offering too-good-to-be-true pricing for brand new MacBook Pros.
A tweet posted to LeVar Burton’s hacked Twitter account from the “10 MacBooks” hacker.
“Hello twitter family !” reads a tweet posted to Burton’s account from the hacker. “I have a special promotion going on ! I have 10 MacBook Pro’s on sale for $600 each ! On top of that I will be signing every MacBook that is sold , also free shipping is included ! All proceeds will be going to charity ! MY DMS ARE OPENED.”
While the hacker’s scheme is nearly identical to previous hacks, there is one significant new strategy being deployed. The scam tweets are usually accompanied by a generic photo of a MacBook box, but in the tweet posted to Burton’s account, there is a new element: A smartphone propped up next to the laptop box with Burton’s logged-in account opened on the display.
It appears the hacker is trying to use that as proof that the offer is actually authentic, much like how eBay sellers will include their handwritten username on a piece of paper next to the product they are selling in the photo. Reminder: It is a scam.
Burton’s daughter, Mica, confirmed earlier on Twitter that her father’s account had been hacked. Mica Burton also confirmed that the hacker accessed LaVar’s account through a phishing email that likely convinced the actor to login to a malicious website disguised as Twitter.
When Mashable previously reported on the hacker, they had blocked the reporter of the piece from viewing their latest stolen account, which also made it impossible to reply and warn the account’s followers. The same thing appears to have happened here as Mica Burton was blocked by her father’s own account shortly after her tweets announcing the hack.
“Damn either my dads twitter account is still hacked or thanksgiving this year is going to be awkward,” she tweeted with a screenshot of the message from Twitter letting her know she’s blocked.
Unfortunately, the scam does appear to be working out for the hacker. For one, they have continually repeated these same methods, down to the scam tweets, for at least a half a year now. They very likely would have moved on to a new scheme if this one wasn’t turning a profit. Also, in Mashable’s previous reporting on this hacker, we’ve spoken to victims who fell for the scam and had lost thousands of dollars paying for non-existent MacBooks that never arrived.
Twitter has proven to be fairly slow in dealing with these matters. In previous cases, some hacked users had scam tweets being sent out from their accounts for weeks. In some cases, it took months for Twitter to return the account to its rightful owner.
Burton is not the first Star Trek: The Next Generation actor to fall victim to the “10 MacBooks” hacker either. Jonathan Frakes’ Twitter account was hacked and subsequently tweeted the MacBooks scam out in December.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie actress Anya Taylor Joy, rapper Action Bronson, 90s rock sensation Smash Mouth, and comedian Patton Oswalt make up just a small portion of the high-profile Twitter users who have had their accounts hacked by this anonymous bad actor.
However, over the past few weeks, there has been a lull in the hacker’s activity. Perhaps the hacker has been quietly targeting smaller accounts that have been less noticeable. Or perhaps the hacker was affected by Elon Musk’s removal of the blue checkmarks from legacy verified users. As Mashable has previously reported, the hacker would target big accounts by directing them to a malicious phishing website under the guise of going through a process to keep their verification badge.
But evidently the scammer has found a new way to trick some of Twitter’s most followed users into handing over their login credentials.