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Two Former Twitter Employees Caught Spying On Users For Saudi Arabia

Two Former Twitter Employees Caught Spying On Users For Saudi Arabia
November 07, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Two former employees of Twitter have been charged with spying on thousands of Twitter user accounts on behalf of the Saudi Arabian government, likely with the purpose of unmasking the identity of dissidents. According to an indictment filed on November 5 and unsealed just yesterday, one of the charged Twitter employees, American citizen Ahmad Abouammo , left the company in May 2015 and the other, Saudi citizen Ali Alzabarah , left the company in December 2015. Both ex-employees were recruited in 2014 by Saudi government officials with close ties to the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, to access sensitive and non-public information of Twitter accounts associated with known Saudi critics. The information Abouammo and Alzabarah illegally accessed about Twitter users include their email addresses, devices used, browser information, user-provided biographical information, birthdates, and other info that can be used to know a user's location, like IP addresses associate

Twitter temporarily disables 'Tweeting via SMS' after CEO gets hacked

Twitter temporarily disables 'Tweeting via SMS' after CEO gets hacked
September 05, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Twitter today finally decided to temporarily disable a feature, called ' Tweeting via SMS ,' after it was abused by a hacking group to compromise Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey last week and sent a series of racist and offensive tweets to Dorsey's followers. Dorsey's Twitter account was compromised last week when a hacker group calling itself "Chuckling Squad" replicated a mobile phone number associated with the CEO account and abused this particular feature to post racist, offensive messages and bomb threats from it via SMS. Replicating a mobile phone number associated with someone else is a technique known as " SIM swapping ," where attackers social engineer a victim's mobile phone provider and trick the telecom company to transfer target's phone number to their own SIM card. Once they social engineered an AT&T employee and gained access to Dorsey's phone number, the Chuckling Squad hackers used the 'Tweeting via SMS' feat

A Twitter Bug Left Android Users' Private Tweets Exposed For 4 Years

A Twitter Bug Left Android Users' Private Tweets Exposed For 4 Years
January 17, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Twitter just admitted that the social network accidentally revealed some Android users' protected tweets to the public for more than 4 years — a kind of privacy blunder that you'd typically expect from Facebook . When you sign up for Twitter, all your Tweets are public by default, allowing anyone to view and interact with your Tweets. Fortunately, Twitter also gives you control of your information, allowing you to choose if you want to keep your Tweets protected. Enabling "Protect your Tweets" setting makes your tweets private, and you'll receive a request whenever new people want to follow you, which you can approve or deny. It's just similar to private Facebook updates that limit your information to your friends only. In a post on its Help Center on Thursday, Twitter disclosed a privacy bug dating back to November 3, 2014, potentially caused the Twitter for Android app to disable the "Protect your Tweets" setting for users without their k

Change Your Twitter Password Immediately, Bug Exposes Passwords in Plaintext

Change Your Twitter Password Immediately, Bug Exposes Passwords in Plaintext
May 03, 2018Mohit Kumar
Twitter is urging all of its 330 million users to change their passwords after a software glitch unintentionally exposed its users' passwords by storing them in readable text on its internal computer system. The social media network disclosed the issue in an official blog post and a series of tweets from Twitter Support. According to Twitter CTO Parag Agrawal, Twitter hashes passwords using a popular function known as bcrypt, which replaces an actual password with a random set of numbers and letters and then stored it in its systems. This allows the company to validate users' credentials without revealing their actual passwords, while also masking them in a way that not even Twitter employees can see them. However, a software bug resulted in passwords being written to an internal log before completing the hashing process—meaning that the passwords were left exposed on the company's internal system. Parag said Twitter had found and resolved the problem itsel

Hackers Are Using An Effective Way to Spread Fake News From Verified Accounts

Hackers Are Using An Effective Way to Spread Fake News From Verified Accounts
June 10, 2017Mohit Kumar
Social media networks are no doubt a quick and powerful way to share information and ideas, but not everything shared on Facebook or Twitter is true. Misinformation, or "Fake News," has emerged as a primary issue for social media platforms, seeking to influence millions of people with wrong propaganda and falsehoods. In past years, we have seen how political parties and other groups have used spoofed social media profiles of influencers or leaders to spread misinformation, and most of the time such techniques work to successfully convince people into believing that the information is true. Although social media services like Facebook, Twitter, and Google, offers account verification (verified accounts with blue tick) for public figures, we have seen hackers hijacking verified accounts to spread fake news from legitimate account to their millions of followers. Now, researchers have uncovered a new, cunning attack technique currently being used by hackers to take ove

President Trump's @POTUS Twitter Linked To A Private Gmail Account

President Trump's @POTUS Twitter Linked To A Private Gmail Account
January 26, 2017Mohit Kumar
It seems like the new American President's Twitter account could easily be hacked due to security blunders he made with the most powerful Twitter account in the world, experts warned. Days after we got to know that the newly inaugurated President Donald Trump was still using his old, insecure Android smartphone, it has now been revealed that the official @POTUS Twitter account was linked to a private Gmail account. Since we are already aware of the potential scandal with government officials using outside email systems following the hack of private e-mail servers of Hillary Clinton and George W. Bush , the choice of using private, non-government email address by Trump has raised serious concerns about the security of the White House's closely watched account. To gain control of the official @POTUS Twitter account, which may or may not is secured with some form of two-factor authentication , all an attacker needs to do is hack the email address associated with the acc

Twitter Ex-CEO Dick Costolo Got Hacked!

Twitter Ex-CEO Dick Costolo Got Hacked!
June 21, 2016Swati Khandelwal
The same group of teenage hackers that hacked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's Twitter and Pinterest accounts have hacked another the Twitter account of another high-profile person. This time, it's Twitter's ex-CEO, Dick Costolo . The hacker group from Saudi Arabia, dubbed OurMine, compromised Twitter account of former Twitter CEO on Sunday and managed to post three tweets on Costolo's Twitter timeline, first spotted by a Recode reporter. However, the tweets seemed to be just simple-worded tweets with no disturbing content. It looked like the hacking group was testing its access to the account. All the three tweets in question have since been deleted, and Costolo soon regained access to his account. Moreover, Twitter also suspended the Twitter account belonging to OurMine once again, after the company already suspended its original account following the Zuckerberg hacks. After regaining access to his account, Costolo said that the group of hackers ma

Warning! 32 Million Twitter Passwords May Have Been Hacked and Leaked

Warning! 32 Million Twitter Passwords May Have Been Hacked and Leaked
June 09, 2016Swati Khandelwal
The world came to know about massive data breaches in some of the most popular social media websites including LinkedIn , MySpace , Tumblr , Fling, and VK.com when an unknown Russian hacker published the data dumps for sale on the underground black marketplace. However, these are only data breaches that have been publicly disclosed by the hacker. I wonder how much more stolen data sets this Russian, or other hackers are holding that have yet to be released. The answer is still unknown, but the same hacker is now claiming another major data breach, this time, in Twitter. Login credentials of more than 32 Million Twitter users are now being sold on the dark web marketplace for 10 Bitcoins (over $5,800). LeakedSource, a search engine site that indexes leaked login credentials from data breaches, noted in a blog post that it received a copy of the Twitter database from Tessa88, the same alias used by the hacker who provided it hacked data from Russian social network VK.com

Anonymous Hacking Group Takes Down 20,000 ISIS Twitter accounts

Anonymous Hacking Group Takes Down 20,000 ISIS Twitter accounts
November 21, 2015Swati Khandelwal
In the wake of horrific terror attacks in Paris, the online Hacktivist group Anonymous last week declared " total war " against the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) that claimed responsibility for the attacks. While French, Russian, and US military are bombing ISIS from the sky, Anonymous members from all over the world are carrying out their very own cyber attack campaign, dubbed #OpParis , against the terrorist organization. Anonymous has claimed to have taken down 20,000 ISIS-affiliated Twitter accounts in order to take revenge from ISIS for the deadly Paris attacks on November 13. Anonymous Took Down 20,000 ISIS-affiliated Twitter Accounts In a YouTube video posted on Wednesday, the group said: "More than 20,000 Twitter accounts belonging to ISIS were taken down by Anonymous." The group has provided a list of all the Twitter accounts that have been taken down. On Tuesday, the hacktivist group claimed to have successfully taken

ISIS Supporter Hacks 54,000 Twitter Accounts and Posts Details of Heads of the CIA and FBI

ISIS Supporter Hacks 54,000 Twitter Accounts and Posts Details of Heads of the CIA and FBI
November 08, 2015Swati Khandelwal
ISIS hackers have hacked tens of thousands of Twitter accounts, including the accounts of the members of CIA and the FBI, in revenge for the US drone strike that killed a British ISIS extremist in August. The Cyber Caliphate , a hackers group set up by British ISIS member Junaid Hussain , urged its supporters and followers to hack Twitter accounts in order to take revenge of Husain's death. Over 54,000 Twitter Accounts Hacked! As a result, the hackers were able to hack more than 54,000 Twitter accounts. Most of the victims targeted by Jihadis appear to be based in Saudi Arabia though some of the them are British. One of the victims based in Saudi Arabia, whose Twitter account was compromised by the ISIS extremists, said, "I am horrified at how they got hold of my details." The extremists not only hacked thousands of Twitter accounts, but they also posted hacked personal information, including phone numbers and passwords, of the heads of: The

Taylor Swift's Twitter and Instagram Accounts Hacked

Taylor Swift's Twitter and Instagram Accounts Hacked
January 27, 2015Mohit Kumar
The very popular Pop star Taylor Swift became the latest celebrity to have their social media accounts hacked on Tuesday. The 25-year-old " Shake It Off " singer, who has the fourth-most popular Twitter account with 51.4 million followers, appeared to be asking her millions of followers to follow @veriuser and @lizzard. Swift confirmed that her Twitter and Instagram accounts were hacked on Tuesday afternoon, and also that the rogue posts were quickly removed from the social media websites. " My Twitter got hacked but don't worry, Twitter is deleting the hacker tweets and locking my account until they can figure out how this happened and get me new passwords ," said a statement posted on Swift's personal Tumblr page. The accounts were taken for just 15 minutes, but when it belongs to Taylor Swift, that makes it a big hit. At the time, a Tweet went out from @TaylorSwift13 to her millions of fans, saying, " go follow my boy, @lizzard :) " Yes Li

US Central Command Social Media Accounts Hacked by ISIS Supporters

US Central Command Social Media Accounts Hacked by ISIS Supporters
January 12, 2015Mohit Kumar
The official Twitter and YouTube accounts for the US military's Central Command ( CENTCOM ) that oversees operations in Central Asia and the Middle East were hacked on Monday by a hacker group claiming association with Islamic State militant group, also known as ISIS. The hacker group, appears to call itself " CyberCaliphate ", managed to gain access to the CENTCOM social accounts, and posted some screenshots of documents, allegedly internal CENTCOM documents, with links to what they described as leaked military files. Meanwhile, YouTube page related to the US military's Central Command was set to display propaganda videos in support of the terrorist group ISIS. On Twitter, the group posted a Pastebin message that declared " Pentagon networks hacked. AMERICAN SOLDIERS WE ARE COMING, WATCH YOUR BACK. ISIS. #CyberCaliphate . " Originally, a statement posted on pastebin shared by the compromised CENTCOM account reads: " US and its satelli

Twitter Vulnerability Allows Hacker to Delete Credit Cards from Any Twitter Account

Twitter Vulnerability Allows Hacker to Delete Credit Cards from Any Twitter Account
September 16, 2014Swati Khandelwal
At the beginning of this month, just like other social networks, Twitter also started paying individuals for any flaws they uncover on its service with a fee of $140 or more offered per flaw under its new Bug Bounty program, and here comes the claimant. An Egyptian Security Researcher, Ahmed Mohamed Hassan Aboul-Ela , who have been rewarded by many reputed and popular technology giants including Google, Microsoft and Apple, have discovered a critical vulnerability in Twitter's advertising service that allowed him deleting credit cards from any Twitter account. FIRST VULNERABILITY Initially, Aboul-Ela found two different vulnerabilities in ads.twitter.com, but both the flaws was having the " same effect and impact. " First flaw exists in the Delete function of credit cards in payments method page, https://ads.twitter.com/accounts/[account id]/payment_methods By choosing the Delete this card function, an ajax POST request is sent to the server. The post parameters se

Twitter Enables Password Reset With SMS and Suspicious Login Notifications

Twitter Enables Password Reset With SMS and Suspicious Login Notifications
May 09, 2014Mohit Kumar
The popular social media site Twitter is rolling out a couple of new features to its login process to help users prevent their account in a more secure way and restore access to their account if they forget their accounts' password. For tighten up the security measures Twitter is launching two factor authentication in its new password reset experience, making its users to reset their password in easier way and at the same time difficult for cybercriminals to log in to users' accounts. " The new process lets you choose the email address or phone number associated with your account where you'd like us to send your reset information. That way, whether you've recently changed your phone number, or are traveling with limited access to your devices, or had an old email address connected to your Twitter account, you've got options ," Twitter said in a blogpost on Thursday. RESET TWITTER PASSWORD WITH SMS This new experience will let Twitter users to

Twitter enables StartTLS for Secure Emails to prevent Snooping

Twitter enables StartTLS for Secure Emails to prevent Snooping
March 14, 2014Wang Wei
TWITTER is taking users' privacy and security very seriously and in an effort to prevent Government snooping, the company has secured your Twitter emails with with TLS (Transport Layer Security). Twitter emails were previously using a plain text communication protocol, that now has been upgraded to an encrypted (TLS or SSL) connection using STARTTLS . In a blog post, Twitter announced : " Since mid-January, we have been protecting your emails from Twitter using TLS in the form of StartTLS. StartTLS encrypts emails as they transit between sender and receiver and is designed to prevent snooping. It also ensures that emails you receive from Twitter haven't been read by other parties on the way to your inbox if your email provider supports TLS. " " These email security protocols are part of our commitment to continuous improvement in privacy protections and complement improvements like our securing of web traffic with forward secrecy and always-on HTT

Justin Bieber Twitter account hacked, Spammed malicious links to 50 Million Followers

Justin Bieber Twitter account hacked, Spammed malicious links to 50 Million Followers
March 10, 2014Wang Wei
Pop Singer Justin Bieber's Twitter account hacked for around 15 minutes before it was corrected! The Twitter account with 50.2 Million Followers was compromised i.e. Twitter account with the second most Twitter followers. Spammers tweeted in Indonesian language from his hacked account with the links to a malicious twitter app named " ShootingStarPro ", and messages reading " Justin Bieber Cemberut? ", means - " Justin Bieber sullen? " It seems that the Justin's twitter account was hijacked by Indonesian hacker with a malicious twitter app, that further tweeted links to the a malicious website rumahfollowers[dot]tk   that hosted " ShootingStarPro " app, aimed to target his millions of followers in one shot. Justin's team quickly responded to the issue, deleted the bogus tweets and told fans " All good now. We handled it. ". He also warned his followers, " That link from earlier. Don't click it. Virus. Going to e

Forbes Hacked by Syrian Electronic Army; Website and Twitter accounts Compromised

Forbes Hacked by Syrian Electronic Army; Website and Twitter accounts Compromised
February 14, 2014Wang Wei
Forbes  is the latest victim in a long line of high-profile attacks by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) , sending a reminder to the international community that cyber warfare is alive and well. The pro-Assad group also took responsibility for hacking multiple Forbes websites and hijacked three Twitter accounts related to the website. According to the screenshots published by the team, it appears the hackers gained the access to the Wordpress administration panel of Forbes website and  edited several articles posted earlier on Forbes by authors Travis Bradberry, Matthew Herper, Andy Greenberg, John Dobosz, Steve Forbes  and titled then as " Hacked by Syrian Electronic Army ". Hackers tweeted, " Syrian Electronic Army was here " from the compromised Twitter accounts, including accounts of Social media editor Alex Knapp @TheAlexKnapp and Personal finance report Samantha Sharf  @Samsharf , and @ForbesTech account. The  Syrian Electronic Army  attack

CNN's Twitter, Facebook and website hacked by Syrian Electronic Army

CNN's Twitter, Facebook and website hacked by Syrian Electronic Army
January 24, 2014Swati Khandelwal
A well-known pro-Syrian hacker group known as Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) , aligned with President Bashar al- Assad, who successfully attacked The New York Times, Huffington Post, and Twitter, BBC, National Public Radio, Al-Jazeera, Microsoft, Xbox, Skype and responsible for cyber-attacks against various other U.S media companies in the past. Last evening, the Group claimed the responsibility for hacking another big media outlet " CNN ", compromised their Twitter, Facebook account and the website. CNN's twitter profile with 11.6 million followers saw a number of fake tweets from hackers, including allegations that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is behind the Al-Qaida network. Hackers Tweeted, " Tonight, the #SEA decided to retaliate against #CNN's viciously lying reporting aimed at prolonging the suffering in #Syria. "   Following fake tweets were posted: " Syrian Electronic Army Was Here … Stop lying … All your reports are fake! "  " Obama Bin Laden

Microsoft Official Blog and Twitter account hacked by Syrian Electronic Army

Microsoft Official Blog and Twitter account hacked by Syrian Electronic Army
January 11, 2014Wang Wei
It could be the worst day ever for Microsoft's patch management and Incident response team. A group of pro-Syrian  hackers ' Syrian Electronic Army ' has successfully compromised the official Twitter account of the Microsoft News ( @MSFTNews ), Xbox Support. They also defaced the Microsoft's TechNet blog ( blogs.technet.com ), and posted deface not over the blog. Microsoft says the situation is under control and no customer data was compromised. It seems that hackers have more internal access to the mailer system of the Microsoft, as they shared a screenshots of the internal communications between Microsoft's Public relations team and Steve Clayton, who is the manager in charge of Microsoft's corporate media platforms.  Last week, the SEA hacked Skype's blog and official twitter page, to spread the information about the NSA spying i.e. " Hacked by Syrian Electronic Army.. Stop Spying! " and today we have seen similar tweets from the Microsoft's N

Oil Producer Saudi Aramco twitter account hacked

Oil Producer Saudi Aramco twitter account hacked
March 06, 2013Mohit Kumar
Twitter continues to implement new security features. But really, who thinks social media will ever be unhackable? The official twitter account of Saudi Aramco , the world's biggest oil producer hacked by hacker with name ' Mister Rero '. The background on Saudi Aramco's official Twitter page and the name has been changed by hacker. So far, no tweets posted by hacker. Last year in August about 30,000 workstations inside internal computer networks of Saudi Aramco was infected by a virus. Last month Burger King's and Jeep's official Twitter accounts was compromised.
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