33-year-old IT consultant Sohaib Athar was just hanging out on Sunday at home in Abbottabad, Pakistan, when he heard an explosion and a helicopter hovering above. He started tweeting what was going on, and ended up unwittingly live-blogging the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden. Athar has become become such an internet celebrity that his website's been hacked.
According to internet security lab Websense, someone installed code on Athar's blog that attempts to install malware on any visitors' computers. That's potentially a lot of people, given that Athar (handle: ReallyVirtual) now has over 70,000 followers thanks to his citizen reportage. (After his Al Jazeera appearance, scheduled for later today, he'll probably have even more.)
Athar, who seems like a funny guy, tweeted sarcastically today, "It is a good thing my blog server is infected with malware today, I guess :-/."
Woe to you, who becomes e-famous solely because of your proximity to some news event! A few months ago, random Twitter user Catie Parker was overwhelmed with media and haters when she tweeted that she had known Tuscon shooter Jared Loughner. And now Athar's under attack from hackers and a voracious media who will gnaw on him until they latch onto the next hapless twitter user who sees something newsworthy and upend their life.