Tag Archives: Twitter

Why has Twitter logged me out?

Twitter outage
You may have woken up this morning to find a Twitter notice asking you to re-enter your Twitter account details. Has your password been stolen? Was this a case of identity theft?

Relax! Just follow a few simple steps and your Twitter account will remain perfectly safe.

The popular micro-blogging network suffered a worldwide outage last night that prevented many users from accessing the service normally for a few hours.

According to Twitter’s information service, Twitter Status, the problem started early morning (CET) and although it is now resolved, some users may still have problems accessing their accounts.

Accounts that appear to have been closed, old messages appearing as recent on timelines… these are some of the effects of the bug that hit the social network.

Have you been affected by this incident?

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How to strengthen the security of your Twitter account


Like Facebook and Gmail, Twitter also lets you strengthen the security of your account through the session login procedure.

This way, you can prevent unauthorized access to your account as in order to enter, you will need a code that Twitter sends to the phone number you provide.

Here we tell you step-by-step how to activate this feature.

How to strengthen access verification in Twitter

The first thing you have to do is go to your Twitter account. Go to “Settings” and from there, go to “Security and Privacy”.



There, select “Send login verification requests to my phone”.


Then add the telephone number that you want the code to be sent to. The logical thing is to include the number of the phone that you usually carry around with you.


Twitter will immediately send you an SMS with a code that you’ll have to enter here.


And once you have done that, you’re finished!


So as you can see, it’s easy to boost security in Twitter. So will you do it?

The post How to strengthen the security of your Twitter account appeared first on MediaCenter Panda Security.

Twitter Files Suit Over Government Restrictions on National Security Letter Data

Twitter has filed a lawsuit in federal court asking that the United States Department of Justice’s prohibitions on publishing the number and kind of government requests for data the company receives be declared unconstitutional. The suit claims that the rules infringe on Twitter’s right to free speech by requiring that the company “engage in speech […]

Twitter has joined the Bounty Programs. Now only Apple remains.

In the technology world, it is now quite common for companies to reward the efforts of those advanced users who dedicate some of their time to uncovering security holes in their programs or platforms.

Although there are still some who are yet to be convinced of the effectiveness of such ‘bounty programs’, many firms apparently see them as being extremely useful, not just to discover new bugs that have gone undetected, but also to get these expert users on their side.

bounty programs - hackers

Such is the value of what is at stake, that most technology companies now have bounty programs in place. A while back, we described the world of bounty programs, and how rewards can fluctuate depending on the company and the importance of the security hole.

Twitter was still among those that had yet to take up the idea. The social network seemed reluctant to put its hand in its pocket to encourage experts to find bugs in its service. Now the company has announced that it’s offering a minimum reward of $140 (get it?) for those who find security holes in Twitter.com, ads.twitter, mobile Twitter, TweetDeck, apps.twitter, as well as in the apps for iOS and Android.

This sum is still way off what others are offering. Bounty programs at firms like Facebook or Google reward users that uncover vulnerabilities with amounts upwards of $500 and$1000 respectively.

bounty programs - facebook

And it’s not only the money that’s different, Twitter’s bounty program also uses a new platform which offers information to anyone who wants to see what each company is offering.

This platform, called HackerOne, is a kind of notice board on which companies announce new features of their bounty programs and where those looking to profit from their ability to sniff out vulnerabilities can easily discover whether it’s worth their while, depending on the money on offer.

This platform was set up in 2012 by several experts who had previously worked in IT security for companies like Facebook, Google or Microsoft. In their previous jobs they had been responsible for coordinating the implementation of bounty programs, so they had first-hand knowledge of the issue. They decided to offer different technology companies, no matter how big or small, the option to delegate the coordination of their bounty programs.

Companies that have taken up the offer include Yahoo!, Square, Automattic and 4chan. So even without offering the same amounts as other firms, there are many companies who, while saving on the costs of running bounty programs, are also addressing the concerns of users who want reassurance that there are no holes in the security of the companies’ platforms. Something that users have been demanding of Twitter for some time.

bounty programs - reward

Apple, still reluctant

The only leading technology company still to launch its own bounty program is none other than Apple. The company has so far taken no steps in this direction, despite the scandals that threatened to tarnish its image in early September when users, including celebrities, had leaked photos, which were hosted in iCloud, published on the Internet. Had there been a program for rewarding hackers that find security holes, perhaps one of those that did find the vulnerability might have warned security officials of the problem and enabled them to act in time. 

They say money can’t buy happiness, but it helps. That’s why, perhaps as a lesson to Apple, the Russian hacker who discovered such a hole in the company’s iCloud was quick to boast of his discovery. As Alexey Troshichev admitted, he would have warned the company about the flaw in the platform if there was a reward. But as there wasn’t, he decided to share the information on Github, where many other experts were able to exploit the hole maliciously, thereby highlighting the importance of bounty programs.

The post Twitter has joined the Bounty Programs. Now only Apple remains. appeared first on MediaCenter Panda Security.

How Twitter aims to prevent your timeline from filling up with spam

As with so many of today’s technological tools, while many people use them to make their lives easier, or to keep in touch with friends and family, there are some that take advantage of them simply to annoy others.

So while most of us use social networks to chat with friends, meet new people and keep abreast of what’s happening in the world, there are those that saturate our accounts with messages that are not just of no interest, they are downright annoying: the infamous ‘spam’.

Now, tired of users having to endure this continuous bombardment of unwanted advertising, those responsible for several social networks have decided to go on the offensive. One of these is Twitter, which has taken action as spammers have been increasing their unhindered presence on users’ timelines and direct message inboxes. Finally, those in charge of the social network have said enough is enough.

twitter spam

As the company has revealed on its blog, over the last six months its developers have been working on the design of a system that can detect and block the actions of these annoying spammers. They have called it ‘BotMaker’ and its objective is to counter the actions of those who, whether for commercial reasons or otherwise, are dedicated to annoying other users of the social network.

The plan that Twitter has come up with to prevent these unwelcome users from doing whatever they please has three objectives.

  1. Firstly, it aims to reduce the options for spammers to create content.
  2. Secondly, it wants to restrict the visibility of spam messages launched on the social network.
  3. Finally, the most difficult objective is to reduce reaction times between spam attacks and the system’s ability to detect and stop them.

To achieve its aims, BotMaker has been designed to apply a series of rules that allow it to determine who is annoying other users with spam. When there is a suspicion that a tweet breaks the rules on spam, Twitter’s new platform will activate a protocol to ensure that either the message is deleted immediately or the user that sent it is vetoed to prevent them from further annoying users.

twitter no interest messages

Moreover, to prevent any unwanted messages from bothering other tweeters by trying to sell something, Twitter’s newly devised anti-spam system includes different bots that act at different stages of the hunt for spammers. The first to come into play is Scarecrow, which intervenes immediately in real time. Sniper comes next, eliminating any spam messages that have slipped past the previous filter. It also carries out a second appraisal and makes a record of suspicious users. If this weren’t enough, BotMaker also sets certain controls on users over long periods of time to prevent them from getting around the rules.

Nevertheless, the main advantage of Twitter’s new system is that it can detect spam even before the account in question can send junk mail to other users. This was the biggest challenge that the team at the social network faced because, whereas with email the delivery is delayed for a few seconds while Google or Microsoft robots check it to ensure it is not spam, with tweets this isn’t the case. These messages are sent and, theoretically, should arrive on your timeline immediately.

Users are also involved in the successful operation of BotMaker as they have the chance to identify those accounts that are flooding their timelines with spam. In this regard, the cookies that users have to accept to use Twitter also play an important role, by analyzing the traces left by tweeters. Despite this, BotMaker has no negative effects on users whatsoever. In fact, the system has been configured not to interfere with the bots that users install to automatically tweet on those topics that they have previously selected.

twitter unwanted messages

Trails carried out by the company with BotMaker have shown it to work efficiently. In the six months that Twitter tested its own invention, it managed to reduce by 40 percent the billions of unwanted messages aimed at selling or promoting products to other users of the social network.

Yet although these results may seem encouraging for those who regularly use Twitter, the truth is that all is not what it seems. Beyond its firm desire to counter the intentions of spammers, the social network is also striving to improve its own targeting of advertising.

As the epicenter of thousands upon thousands of comments about all types of events taking place around the world, the filters that BotMaker uses can also be used to select users who may be interested in advertising of one product or another.

More | How to protect your Twitter account

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Twitter hacked – Cricket legend ‘Beefy’ Botham exposed

One of England’s greatest-ever cricketers, Sir Ian Botham, appeared to have had his offficial Twitter hacked yesterday as an obscene picture unexpectedly appeared on the sportsman’s feed, according to the Evening Standard.

The single post was accompanied by the message, “What are you thinking…. xx”.  Botham was rapidly warned by friend and Welsh football pundit Robbie Savage that he had had his Twitter hacked, “Mate I think you’ve been hacked.”.

Botham rapidly regained control of the account, and Tweeted, “I would like to thank the hacker….I’ve just got 500 hits in 20 mins !!”

Twitter hacked: ‘Beefy’

In his column in the Daily Mirror newspaper, ‘Beefy’ said, “For those of you on Twitter who may have seen a distasteful photo from my account yesterday, let me assure you it was the result of someone hacking into it. I’ve played a few jokes in my time, but this was pathetic.”

“My old mate and fellow Mirror columnist Robbie Savage was straight on to me to change my password – which I’ve done. I’ve also asked the boffins in the Sky tech department to see how I can stop it happening again.”

Veteran security writer and researcher Graham Cluley wrote, “Let’s hope that Sir Ian Botham has now properly secured his Twitter account and other social media assets more effectively. It would be terrible if future hacks would cause his fans to boycott his future tweets.

The only silver lining is that Ian Botham is now trending on Twitter.”

More followers after picture

Botham too saw the silver lining to the hack, saying, “If some keyboard warrior has nothing better to do than post silly pictures, more fool them. The only impact it has had on me bizarrely is to give me more followers – strange.”

A We Live Security guide to how and why passwords can be hacked – and how to stop it – can be found here.

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