Mayor Kim Gets Spoofed on Twitter

January 2, 2019, 2:48 PM HST (Updated January 3, 2019, 11:15 AM)
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People have been “spoofing” government officials since social media began and recently, even Big Island’s own Mayor Harry Kim was impersonated on Twitter.

In a Dec. 10, 2018, letter to Director of Information Technology Jules Ung, Mayor Kim requested that Ung take care of this matter on his behalf.

“As authorized by Section 4-5(f) of the Charter of the County of Hawai‘i, I hereby authorize you to act on my behalf to report a Twitter account that is impersonating me as the Mayor of the County of Hawai‘i and to take whatever action is necessary to have such account eliminated.

This authorization shall be effective until the impersonating account is eliminated or until the end of my term as Mayor, whichever is sooner.”

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Ung reports that on Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, the county received a tip from a citizen that somebody “hacked” the mayor’s Twitter account. It turned out that someone just spoofed Kim’s account to look official at the following URL https://twitter.com/MayorHarryKim1.

Screen shot of fake account on Jan. 2, 2019.

The real account for Mayor Kim is https://twitter.com/MayorHarryKim.

“No tweets were posted as far as we know from the fake account—it was shut down immediately and the county reported the fake account immediately to Twitter and it was shut down,” Ung said.

Real Twitter Account

“Cyber crime will continue to be on the rise as criminals become more sophisticated and leverage email as well as social media,” Ung said. “The County of Hawai‘i has partnered with an industry leader in end-user awareness and training. Additionally, the county is working closely with Homeland Security to ensure the security of our systems and the awareness of our end-users.

“While we can address certain risks in-house, anyone can pretend to be a government official,” Ung continued. “Protect your personal and financial information by learning how to spot phishing attempts and be cyber savvy! Learn more and get involved with cyber safety awareness here.”

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