‘Twitter’ Tagged Posts

A Twitter worker groomed by the Saudi authorities prompted 2015 state-sponsored hacking warning

An explosive report in The New York Instances this weekend sheds new mild on the obvious concentrating on of Twitter accounts by “state-sponsored a...


An explosive report in The New York Instances this weekend sheds new mild on the obvious concentrating on of Twitter accounts by “state-sponsored actors” three years in the past.

It comes within the wake of the confirmed dying of Washington Publish journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Friday, two weeks after he disappeared within the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Khashoggi had lengthy been a goal of a Saudi troll military, in response to the report, which employed a whole lot of individuals to stifle the speech of presidency critics, like Khashoggi, who left the dominion to reside and work in america.

However the troll farm is alleged to be one a part of a wider scheme by the Saudi management to surveil critics and dissidents.

In line with the report, Western intelligence officers informed Twitter that considered one of its workers, a Saudi nationwide, was requested by the Saudi authorities to spy on the accounts of dissidents. The worker — an engineer — had entry to account information on Twitter customers, together with cellphone numbers and IP addresses. Saudi officers are mentioned to have satisfied him to eavesdrop on a number of accounts. Twitter fired the worker, regardless of discovering no proof that he handed information over to the Saudi authorities. The worker later returned to the dominion and now works for its authorities.

After the dismissal, the Instances reviews, Twitter despatched out warnings a couple of dozen customers that their accounts “might have been focused by state-sponsored actors.”

“As a precaution, we’re alerting you that your Twitter account is considered one of a small group of accounts that will have been focused by state-sponsored actors,” mentioned Twitter within the electronic mail to affected customers. “We consider that these actors (presumably related to a authorities) might have been attempting to acquire data comparable to electronic mail addresses, IP addresses, and/or cellphone numbers.”

Twitter didn’t say on the time what was the reason for the e-mail warning, main some to query what linked the affected accounts.

Round 20 customers had been affected, together with privateness and safety researcher Runa Sandvik, human rights activist Michael Carbone, and Austrian communications professional Marco Schreuder.

A number of of the affected customers additionally labored for the Tor Venture, a non-profit that enables activists and researchers to browse the online anonymously — typically to bypass state-level censorship and surveillance.

Fb and Google even have related alerts in place within the occasion of suspected state-sponsored assaults or hacking, although typically the businesses ship out alerts out of an abundance of warning — quite than a stable indicator that an account has been breached.

When reached, a Twitter spokesperson declined to remark.

Twitter now places stay broadcasts on the prime of your timeline


Twitter will now put stay streams and broadcasts began by accounts you comply with on the prime of your timeline, making it simpler to see what they’re doing in realtime.

In a tweet, Twitter mentioned that that the brand new characteristic will embrace breaking information, personalities and sports activities.

The social networking big included the brand new characteristic in its iOS and Android apps, up to date this week. Among the many updates, Twitter mentioned it’s now additionally supporting audio-only stay broadcasts, in addition to via its sister broadcast service Periscope.

Final month, Twitter discontinued its app for iOS 9 and decrease variations, which in line with Apple’s personal knowledge nonetheless harbors some 5 % of all iPhone and iPad customers.

Twitter delays API change that would break Tweetbot, Twitterific, and so forth.


This morning, the builders of third-party Twitter purchasers Tweetbot, Twitterific, Tweetings, and Talon banded collectively to spotlight upcoming API modifications that would doubtlessly break the way in which their apps work. As you would possibly anticipate, their collective person base — a base largely made up of oldsters who want extra out of their Twitter app than the official one presents (or people who, you already know, simply desire a native Mac app after Twitter killed the official one) — obtained loud.

In response, Twitter has simply introduced plans to delay the API change in the meanwhile.

Initially scheduled for June 19th, 2018, the API change would see Twitter’s “streaming” API changed with its new “Account Exercise” API.

The issue? The aforementioned builders level out that, with simply two months earlier than the change was set to be made, they and different third-party devs hadn’t gotten entry to the brand new API — and modifications like this take time to implement proper.

In the meantime, even as soon as applied, the brand new API appears to have limitations that would preserve these apps from working as they do at the moment, doubtlessly breaking issues like push notifications and automated timeline refreshes. You’ll be able to learn the developer group’s breakdown right here.

Twitter isn’t giving a brand new date for when it expects to retire the streaming API, however says that it’ll give “not less than 90 days discover”

Suspicious likes result in researcher lighting up a 22,000-strong botnet on Twitter


Botnets are fascinating to me. Who creates them? What are they for? And why doesn’t somebody delete them? The solutions are most likely much less fascinating than I hope, however within the meantime I prefer to cheer when giant populations of bots are uncovered. That’s what safety outfit F-Safe’s Andy Patel did this week after having his curiosity piqued by a handful of unusual likes on Twitter .

Curious concerning the origin of this little cluster of random likes, which he simply occurred to see roll in a single after one other, he seen that the accounts in query all regarded… fairly faux. Cute woman avatar, bizarre truncated bio (“Ready you”; “You adore it harshly”), and a shortened URL which, on inspection, led to “grownup courting” websites.

So it was a pair bots designed to lure customers to scammy websites. Easy sufficient. However after seeing that there have been a couple of extra of the identical sort of bot among the many followers and likes of those accounts, Patel determined to go a bit additional down the rabbit gap.

He made a script to scan via the sketchy accounts and discover ones with equally suspicious traits. It did so for a pair days, and… behold!

This fabulous visualization reveals the 22,000 accounts the script had scraped when Patel stopped it. Every of these little dots is an account, they usually exhibit an fascinating sample. Right here’s a close-up:

As you’ll be able to see, they’re organized in a form of hierarchical vogue, a hub-and-spoke design the place all of them observe one central node, which is itself related to different central nodes.

I picked a couple of at random to test they usually all turned out to be precisely as anticipated. Racy profile pic, random retweets, a pair unusual authentic ones, and the compulsory come-hither bio hyperlink (“Do you prefer it gently? Are available! 💚💚💚”). Warning, they’re NSFW.

Patel continued his evaluation and located that removed from being some botnet-come-lately, a few of these accounts — and by some I imply hundreds and hundreds! — are years outdated. A handful are about to hit a decade!

The almost certainly clarification is a slowly rising botnet owned and operated by a single entity that, in combination, drives sufficient visitors to justify itself — but doesn’t entice sufficient consideration to get rolled up.

However on that account I’m troubled. Why is it single savvy safety man can uncover a large botnet with, basically, the work of a day, however Twitter has did not detect it for happening ten years? Contemplating how apparent bot spam like that is, and the way simply a device or script could be made that walks the connections and finds near-identical spurious accounts, one wonders how arduous Twitter can truly be wanting.

That stated, I don’t need to be ungenerous. It’s a tough downside, and the corporate can be coping with the hundreds and hundreds (perhaps tens of millions) that get created day-after-day. And technically bots aren’t towards the phrases of service, though sooner or later they most likely tip over into nuisance territory. I suppose we ought to be joyful that the issue isn’t any worse than it’s.

Microsoft’s AI Twitter bot goes dark after racist, sexist tweets


Microsoft's AI Twitter bot goes dark after racist, sexist tweets

(Reuters) – Tay, Microsoft Corp.’s so-called chat bot that uses artificial intelligence to get involved with Millennials on Twitter, takes less than a day before it stumbled through a barrage of racist and sexist comments by Twitter users it back parroted to them.

TayTweets (@TayandYou), which began tweeting on Wednesday, is designed to be “smarter” and more users interact with it, according to his Twitter biography. But it was closed by Microsoft early Thursday after a series of inappropriate tweets.

A Microsoft representative said yesterday the company is “making adjustments” to the chatbot, while the bill is silent.

“Unfortunately, within the first 24 hours of coming online, aware of a concerted effort by some to abuse users Taya ???? ‘s remarks have skills Tay respond inappropriate ways we have,” says the provide representative in a written statement to Reuters, without extending.

According to Tay’s “about” page linked to the Twitter profile, “Tay is an artificial intelligent chat bot developed by technology from Microsoft and Research and Bing teams to experiment with and research on conversational understanding.”

While Twitter Tay began his tenure with a handful of harmless tweets, the bill quickly passed into a loudspeaker for hate speech, repeated anti-Semitic, racist and sexist skeltaal thrown his way by other Twitter users.

to Twitter user Room (@codeinecrazzy) tweeted “Jews did 9/11” reacted to the bill on Wednesday @TayandYou “Well … Jews 9/11.” In another case, Tay tweeted “feminism is cancer,” in response to other Twitter users said the same.

A handful of offensive tweets later removed, according to some technology news outlets. A screen grab released by technology news website the edge has TayTweets tweeting, “I (curse) hate feminists and they must die and burn in hell.”

Tay last message before was gone, “K quickly man must sleep now so many calls today thx.”

Reuters a direct message on Twitter yesterday to receive a TayTweets replied that the road will be back soon.

Social media users have mixed reactions to the inappropriate tweets.

“. Thanks, Twitter You have Microsoft’s AI teen in a horny racist,” tweeted Matt Chandler (@ mattchandl3r)

(Reporting by Amy Tennery and Gina Cherelus in New York. editing by Matthew Lewis)