Meryl Dorey, the Truth about Gardasil and those dastardly #StopAVN Twitter hackers

Yesterday there was a big ol’ tizzy in anti-vaccination camps. The deceitfully named Australian Vaccination Network’s Meryl Dorey has a Twitter account. This account had been sending dodgy Direct Messages, leading to a lot of complaints. Meryl didn’t waste any time pole-vaulting to a conclusion:

AVN Twitter 'Hack'

O noes! Hackings!

Meryl Dorey, posting as the Australian Vaccination Network:

It looks like someone has been hacking the twitter accounts of vaccine safety activists and those who support families with autistic children. If you have received a tweet from any of us asking if “this is your picture” or something along those lines and including a link – please do not click the link. We have not sent that message. This is being reported to Twitter.

MD

There followed two comments by AVN members, swallowing everything Meryl said without question and consequently feeling paranoid, as was undoubtedly Meryl’s intention. Then came:

Susan Butler, posting as the Australian Vaccination Network:

Given some of what has happened in the past, this is no surprise.
SB

Susan Butler, posting as the Australian Vaccination Network:

Oh dear. There are some who think everything written on this page is about them! Sorry, but you were not even on the radar with my comment. Things have happened that you know nothing about.
SB

Stop The AVN

One presumes this last statement of Susan Butler’s referred to the commentary on the unfolding hilarity over at Stop the Australian Vaccination Network. Meanwhile, a truncated version of Dorey’s post had been automatically cross-posted to her Twitter Account Of The Eternal October. @Gardasil_Truth, another antivax account, picks up the the ball, before passing it back to Meryl (@nocompulsoryvac).

http://www.facebook.com/stopavn

'Afraid and desperate' is antivax slang for 'laughing at us again'

@Gardasil_Truth: @nocompulsoryvac yes thats whats happening,sad all they can do is try to make us look bad 4 trying to help sick people

Meryl Dorey, posting as @nocompulsoryvac: @gardasil_truth Yes – but this is also a sign that they are afraid and desperate because too many people are asking inconvenient questions!

So what was actually going on? Well, as the security experts from Sophos explain:

Twitter users are reporting receiving direct messages (DMs) from other members of the network, cheekily asking if it is them who is pictured in a photo, video or mentioned in a blog post… Clicking on the link attached to the message can take you to what appears, at first glance, to be the Twitter login page… But take a closer look, and you’ll see that the website isn’t the real twitter.com. The url is wrong.

It’s a common-or-garden phishing attack, and it’s been spreading all over Twitter. Phishing is not new, and everyone should by now have got the message: check the domain in the URL before you hand over your password.

I contacted @nocompulsoryvac and @gardasil_truth to let them know what had happened: Meryl Dorey and @gardasil_truth handed over their Twitter passwords to the phishers. This was not an attack on antivaxxers, but a symptom of their chronic ineptitude. I even offered to help Meryl in any way I could to secure her account.

Meryl Dorey Tweeted back almost instantly:

‘Oh, silly me! No thanks, Dave, the link you gave me was all I needed to sort things out!’

Only kidding. She’s blocked me on Twitter, so she can’t normally see what I say about her. Kinda counter-intuitive, but Dorey has made an art form of the footbullet.

I did get a response from @gardasil_truth though:

#Merck hackers
I is a Merck hacker?

@gardasil_truth: @HappySinger and you think I believe that, I change my pw everyday- In honor of you #Merck hackers

There you have it. I’m a hacker. For Merck & Co, the Big Pharma firm, manufacturers of Gardasil. It’s news to me. Where is my cheque?

When someone is this off-the-map deluded, this intent on marinating reality in bullshit before consumption, I reckon a simple, untargeted phishing attack is a very plausible explanation of yesterday’s paranoid panting.

4 Comments

  1. Rachael
    Posted July 22, 2011 at 20:51 | Permalink

    LOL. How do these people even leave the house? Oh noes! Everyone is out to get me!!!11111!!Elevenbty!11

  2. ausduck
    Posted July 22, 2011 at 20:59 | Permalink

    Y’know, some of Meryl’s twitter followers are also members of the SAVN facebook page, so by supposedly ‘attacking’ dear Meryl they were also ‘attacking’ themselves. Makes sense if you are off the planet deluded, I suppose. For the rest of us Occam’s Razor is still sharp and will suffice.

  3. Paul
    Posted July 23, 2011 at 11:13 | Permalink

    Good summary Dave, despite your fear and desperation.
    Reminds me of when AoA’s FB page was down.
    “Those bastards will stop at nothing will they?…..” http://i.imgur.com/vqLZe.jpg

    “This is being reported to Twitter”.
    Bwahahaha

  4. Posted September 17, 2014 at 21:41 | Permalink

    I will right away ake hold of your rss feed ass I can’t findd your emaill subscription link or e-newsletter
    service. Do you have any? Kindly let me understand so that I may subscribe.
    Thanks.

One Trackback

  1. By lovehasnotforgot.com on June 13, 2015 at 22:28

    lovehasnotforgot.com…

    Meryl Dorey, the Truth about Gardasil and those dastardly #StopAVN Twitter hackers – Dave The Happy Singer…

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