The Phillies didn’t trade for Luis Robert Jr. — Buster Olney was hacked | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

If you saw a tweet from ESPN baseball insider Buster Olney that the Phillies were trading for White Sox outfielder Luis Robert Jr., you’d be forgiven for thinking it was legit. All things considered, it followed the exact format Olney might use when breaking trade news and came from his verified account. Even the WIP account fell for it, posting a now-deleted tweet celebrating the “news.”

When the previous posts from the account included “I hate METS” and “Okay, if I get an unlimited prison sentence, who will come and bring panties?” it was clear something else was afoot.

“Whoever runs our Twitter account is so dumb, it’s not even funny,” Jack Fritz of WIP said on the air. “Buster Olney’s had his Twitter account hacked most of the day. The person who hacked it just tweeted that the Phillies traded for Luis Robert Jr. and we tweeted out like ‘listen to afternoon WIP for the breaking news, live reaction.’”

Olney was hacked on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Monday. While the hacker initially just posted a few videos and some … unsavory content, they quickly asked just who it was they’d hacked. An opportunistic Yankee fan replied asking him to tweet “I hate the Mets,” and the hacker was off and running.

After that, the hacker continued to take notes from fans in the replies, posting multiple fake trades, including the Mets’ shortstop Francisco Lindor to the Oakland Athletics — at which point even the technologically challenged should have realized the jig was up. The A’s would never take on that contract.

The hacker also tweeted that Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani had been banned for life for gambling, and would be subject to life in prison. Ohtani’s former interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, pleaded guilty to tax and bank fraud connected to gambling last week, and is set to be sentenced on Oct. 25.

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The hacker posted a final poll saying “I’m deleting everything. Don’t tell Buster what happened, okay?”

Kid, that ship’s sailed. But it made for a much more entertaining hack than if they’d just posted about Bitcoin, or an iPad, as most hackers typically do. The hacker quickly changed their mind, asking Olney’s followers to send tweets, so they could share the ones with the most likes before logging off the account for good.

One of the final posts said the Orioles were being relocated to Las Vegas, and that the A’s would stay in Oakland. Another said the season would be canceled for COVID. One shared a photo of former A’s general manager and current adviser to A’s owner John Fisher, Billy Beane, with the caption “I love this guy.”

The hacker’s final tweet before signing off?

“Friends, we had fun together, I think delete your bad tweets, this man may sue you when he wakes up,” the post said. “I don’t want to see someone I had fun with in prison, I’d be sad not being able to see him.”

We sure did have fun together, Buster Olney hacker. But now let’s have the experts break the baseball news.

ESPN did not immediately return The Inquirer’s request to comment on Monday.


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