17-Year-Old: I Caused Twitter Meltdown

'I did it merely to see if it could be done,' says Pearce Delphin

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 22, 2010 11:57 AM CDT

(Newser) – Remember the "mouseover" bug that sent unwitting Twitter users to Japanese porn sites yesterday? Well, it was caused by a 17-year-old Australian schoolboy. Pearce Delphin says he was the first one to try the mouseover trick. "I did it merely to see if it could be done ... that JavaScript really could be executed within a tweet," he confessed to the AFP. But hackers quickly adapted the idea, and created replicating "worm" tweets.

The viruses wound up ensnaring the likes of Robert Gibbs and Sarah Brown, wife of ex-British PM Gordon Brown. Before long, the "Netcraft" security service tracked the code back to Delphin."At the time of posting the tweet, I had no idea it was going to take off how it did," Delphin said. "I just hadn't even considered it. ... Hopefully, I won't get into trouble."

In this photo illustration the Twitter website is displayed on a mobile phone on July 6, 2009 in London.
In this photo illustration the Twitter website is displayed on a mobile phone on July 6, 2009 in London.   (Getty Images)
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