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French suspect grilled over Obama Twitter hack

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A French suspect has been arrested over accusations he hacked into the Twitter accounts of President Obama and other public figures, the BBC reports.

The unnamed 25-year-old was questioned by French police after an arrest on Tuesday and following a months-long investigation involving the FBI.

Investigators reckon the suspect hacked into micro-blogging accounts run by Obama and celebrities including Britney Spears via the basic ploy of successfully guessing the answer to password reminder questions used by targeted accounts. The same approach was famously used to hack into a Yahoo! webmail account maintained for former US vice-president candidate Sarah Palin.

Adeline Champagnat, head of the French central office against online fraud, said the Twitter hack suspect (who used the online handle Hacker Croll) had no particular computer skills. The unemployed man was released on police bail pending further inquiries and a court appearance, scheduled for Clermont-Ferrand on 24 June.

It's unclear if and how compromised Twitter accounts were misused. Spears' account, in particular, has been hacked multiple times by scallywags. ®

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