Who is @GCHQ's "barneyrooster"?

The British intelligence service GCHQ has been on Twitter since January 2016 - however they only sent their first tweet today.

As I never tire of saying, Bitly is a terrible at keeping your data private.

Simply add a + on to the URL and you can see some really interesting stats about the link and the user who created it?

Let's take a look at https://bitly.com/GCHQhello+

The link was created by a user called "barneyrooster". A little bit of digging shows that user has created several links for GCHQ - for example https://bitly.com/GCHQsig+ and http://bit.ly/GCHQterms+.

So, who is Barney Rooster? According to Bit.ly's API, the user's account was created today, 16 May 2016 08:08:13 GMT - the same day as their account started Tweeting. There's no active Twitter account with that name, and no one on LinkedIn or Facebook.

The only significant mention is a comic book character from the 1940s created by Frank Frazetta.

Here's a sample from the comic.

Barney Rooster

Curiouser and curiouser...

Remember, BitLy doesn't support https by default (a must for any security conscious organisation), it leaks your data, and leaks your visitors' data.

Let's just hope GCHQ remembered to turn on 2FA for the elusive Barney Rooster!

Update! The BarneyRooster user was deleted on the 17th of May. Be seeing you!

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