Obama Twitter hacker arrested, released

A man suspected of hacking the official Twitter account of President Barack Obama was arrested by French police Tuesday then released Wednesday, Agence France-Presse reported

The suspect, a 25-year-old unemployed Frenchman, was taken into custody as the result of a joint operation with U.S. FBI agents that has lasted for about two months.

The man, who used the pseudonym "Hacker Croll" was able to access Obama's account on the microblogging site. The account was established and is primarily used by the Democratic National Committee. The president has rarely, if ever, posted on the account himself.

Here is more from AFP:

He was questioned in police custody in the central city of Clermont-Ferrand and has been ordered to appear in court in the same city on June 24.

"He explained how he did it. He's not a genius," said the source.

"He was a young man spending time on the Internet. He acted as a result of a bet, out of the defiance of the hacker. He is the sort who likes to claim responsibility for what he has done," added prosecutor Jean-Yves Coquillat.

Hacking into a database is a crime in France which carries a maximum two-year prison sentence.

San Francisco-based Twitter did not immediately reply to an email from AFP about the arrest while the FBI said it was looking into the report.

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The hacker, who attacked the Twitter accounts of several US celebrities, had also attacked Facebook pages and email accounts operated by Google and other providers, the police said.

But he had never attempted to profit financially from his hacking activities on Twitter, in which users can send out messages of 140 characters or less, they added.