The Fake Guccifer 2

There are a few things I want to clear up about the second Guccifer 2 Twitter account which I understand many of you may not be familiar with.  So, with that said, be aware that I am writing this post to shed some light on a situation mainly for an individual who I greatly respect in our online, research community. If the following helps anyone else out there, even better. 

So this ridiculous story starts with THIS Twitter account and the person behind it which I will refer to as the “fake account” and “fake G2,” respectively.  If you click on the link to the fake account you’ll see that the name Guccifer is misspelled and there’s a disclaimer that reads, “Absolutely nothing to do with GUCCIFER_2.”  Minus the handle, it seems quite obvious that this isn’t the original Guccifer 2 Twitter account, right? However, up until a few days ago this is what the fake account looked like:

Again, the fake account has the same handle as the original Guccifer 2 account but the name is not misspelled and there’s no disclaimer.  Looks just like the original G2 account, huh?  Well, it’s not and my understanding is that you could pull something like this off with a homoglyph—meaning, a capital “I” on Twitter looks exactly the same as a lowercase “l” (the letter L). I don’t know for sure if this is how they did it but it’s possible. 

Now, if your asking yourself why in the world I would care about this, it’s a convoluted story that probably isn’t worth much of anyone’s time minus the fact it plays into the past few weeks of shenanigans we’ve been watching play out online and the question which seems to be on everyone’s mind, “Who do I trust?” You see, the individual behind this “fake account” disclosed their identity to me back in February.  As to whether or not they really are the person they say they are, the identity they gave does appear to be a real, living person.  With that said and for reasons I’m not going to get into I stopped communicating with this person.  I blocked their Twitter accounts (they have others besides this fake account) and didn’t think twice about it until last week.

Without disclosing details, the person behind this fake account (fake G2) popped back up on the radar last week and I became concerned.  I contacted fake G2 and asked them what their angle was to which they responded that they were an ordinary citizen and that “any involvement from me in anything is just for fun and for my own interest.”

Well, here’s where this individual’s “own interest” gets interesting…

Within days of receiving fake G2’s email response, they changed the G2 account (misspelled the name, added the disclaimer).  Additionally, I was randomly contacted by a different individual who said they had information they wanted to share but were afraid to do so.  Interestingly, although this individual said they were afraid for their family’s safety, they initially demanded an unencrypted video chat with me instead of encrypted email where they would then divulge their information. I refused and when they finally told me via email what they wanted to share they set the message to expire (disappear) within a few hours. Hmm…

Among other things, they eventually shared this:  They believe that the fake G2 is the original Guccifer 2 and that the fake account is legit.  They added that fake G2 had “vetted” them which somehow lent to their credibility (insert eye roll) and that it was a “pretty smart” move for the fake G2 account to change their profile so they no longer looked so legit—whatever that means.  Bottom line is that although a few individuals have told me that they do not believe fake G2 is nefarious, I find it hard to believe because,

a.  Either they’ve been lying to people and pretending to be the original Guccifer 2 or,

b.  They had someone email me to harass me/they created a different account to harass me themselves.

I mean, the odds of some random person innocently contacting me to tell me fake G2 is really the original Guccifer 2 (with all the odd things that went along with it like demanding a video chat) directly after I had private conversations about the fake account with others, after fake G2 changed the account’s profile information, three days after I emailed them to ask them what their angle was, and along with this tweet I posted…

…seems a little ridiculous to believe.  And it’s particularly ridiculous with respect to the fact that no one has ever emailed me about this fake account before.  Like, ever. 

I received an email this morning from the fake G2 which was obviously in response to my above tweet from last week—

As to their question of why I made a screenshot on Wednesday the answer is simple:  I anticipated they were going to change the profile because I saw how things were going down. As to why I posted it on Friday, well, I’m certain that this individual is well aware that someone emailed me and for whatever reasons wants me to disclose it.  Just a theory though. And, as I promised the person who emailed me, I won’t disclose their identity (omg, I sound like fake news, don’t I??).  However, that’s not to say I trust them or fake G2.  If fake G2 reads this post my guess is that they will deny any knowledge of “vetting” people or leading them to believe they are the original Guccifer 2 because, let’s be honest, fake G2 may not have led others on because the person who emailed me may very well have been fake G2 to begin with.  You see, they have multiple accounts.  Some of my followers follow them…

Or maybe fake G2 was trying to make me look like a chump by encouraging me to churn out some tweets or posts that the fake G2 account is the original Guccifer 2, who knows.  If you want me to give fake G2 the benefit of the doubt then it begs the question then of who this person was that emailed me, why they were so weird about it, and why they were so desperate for me to believe that fake G2 is the original Guccifer 2.  The bottom line is that this account is not legit.  Although, with only 26 followers it doesn’t seem that they have snowed very many people along the way which only makes me more suspicious as to why someone(s) are trying to make this an issue.

Take from this as you will.  Be smart, be careful, and be safe.  Carry on as you were…

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