Prepare yourself for the warm glow of schadenfreude: OGUsers, a forum devoted to trading stolen Instagram, Twitter and other accounts, has apparently been hacked, its forum hard drives wiped, and its user database stolen and published on a rival hacking community site for any and all comers to download for free.

As Motherboard reported last year, OGUsers – called OGU by its members – is a forum popular among hackers who specialize in hijacking people’s accounts, particularly through SIM swapping.

Trading in desirable usernames

Launched in April 2017, the forum is a market for buying and selling “OG” usernames. That’s short for “original gangster” and refers to usernames that are considered desirable, whether it’s because they’re short – such as @t or @ty – or because they’re considered cool, such as @Sex or @Eternity, or then again, because they belong to celebrities, such as, say, the Twitter accounts of Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, comedian Sarah Silverman, or NASA, to name just a few.

According to Motherboard, OGUsers traded in hijacked social media accounts, as well as in PlayStation Network, Steam, Domino’s Pizza, and other online accounts.

The administrator of OGUsers, known as “Ace”, announced the attack in a post on the forum on 12 May 2019. According to security journalist Brian Krebs, Ace told forum members that an outage had been caused by hard drive failure that erased months’ worth of private forum posts and prestige points. Ace said they’ve restored a backup from January 2019.

But we’ve since come to find out, that 12 May outage coincided with the theft of the forum’s user database and the erasure of its hard drives.