Pop superstar Lady Gaga has regained control of her Facebook and Twitter accounts after hackers posted a series of fake messages promising her followers free iPads. Some fans are angry that the Apple deal was fake... but they should be more worried about what information they gave the hacker in the massive scam.
Free iPad 2s?
Lady Gaga has 17 million Twitter followers, so all the Little Monsters were ecstatic when a message from Gaga appeared yesterday promising them free Apple goodies.
Monsters, I'm giving away FREE iPad2's to each of you in the spirit of the holidays, Lady Gaga's Twitter feed read, attaching a link where Twitter users were supposed to register.
The suspicious message appeared after an earlier (deleted) offer of Macbooks, again in the spirit of the holidays, and shortly afterwards the link in question was labeled potentially problematic, the Internet version of saying spam stay away.
But fans of the singer became more hopeful when they visited her Facebook page, which boasts 45 million friends and featured the same offer for free iPad 2 tablets. Lady Gaga's new iPad comes out in 3 days! the post read. So for 72 hours we will be hosting a massive giveaway to all the Mother Monster fans.
'I took your generous offer seriously.'
Lady Gaga has since deleted the hacked tweets and Facebook posts, but not before TechCrunch reported that some 7,000 of her Twitter followers clicked the suspicious link, even retweeting the offer to others. BBC reports that more than 100,000 of her Facebook friends also followed the link.
Phew. The hacking is over! Lady Gaga tweeted after deleting the hacker's posts. And just in time, I'm on my way to Japan! So excited to spend Xmastime with my Tokyo monsters!
Some fans were bitterly disappointed by the fake iPad 2 offer, and tweeted back to regret that they'd be getting no Apple products for Christmas this year.
Some even continued to take the offer seriously, confused by the change on Twitter or implying that the singer might simply have gone back on her word. I took your generous offer seriously, Yahoo News recorded one confused fan tweeting Gaga.
Twitter, FB Hacking Likely a Phishing Scam
But even if Lady Gaga could afford to give free iPads to 17 million Twitter followers (not to mention the 45 million friends she has on Facebook), it's unlikely she would do so through a social networking site whose link anyone could click on.
Nor was Lady Gaga the only one whose Twitter account was hacked yesterday: Time reports that singers Nelly Furtado and Nichole Scherzinger were also offering free Apple products with suspicious links attacks.
Lady Gaga was likely the victim of a phishing scam, where a hacker tricks fans or users into believing they're signing up for a legitimate web site or contest while gaining access to their personal and financial data. That information can then be used to gain access to email addresses and banking accounts.