It was pretty clear from the start that the hack against Twitter was more than a simple security breach of a handful of user accounts. The smash and grab attack struck celebrities, politicians, and billionaires including Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Kayne West, Binance and companies like Apple, Coinbase, and Ripple Cryptocurrencies.
Both Kaspersky and Symantec released reports this week pointing out the increase in attacks by Wild Neutron (aka Jripbot, Morpho, or Butterfly). WN had gone mostly dormant (or undetected?) since 2013 after hitting Apple, Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft using zero-day Java exploits (seeded in the hacked forums of various websites) and the OSX/Pintsized Mac OS X or Windows Jiripbot backdoor.
The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) is back in the news today, this time after tweets from the @BarrackObama Twitter account and posts to the President’s Facebook fan page contained links to SEA YouTube content. At this time it is not believed that the President’s Twitter nor Facebook page was hacked but rather SEA has gained access to the backend third-party (i.e. customized) link shortener allowing them to redirect the U.S. Organizing for Action links to SEA links. How the link shortener functions and where it is hosted is not known at this time.
Apple announced yesterday (2/19/13) that hackers had infected Macintosh computers of employees using an exploit in Oracle’s Java software stack. The attack is largest known cyber attack targeting Apple computers. The malware is believed to have originated from an iPhone developer website and was later used to launch massive attacks against Facebook, Twitter, and “other companies”.
Twitter uses can now add six-second looping videos to their 140-character tweets using technology Twitter bought last year from developer start-up Vine. Hey, it’s like animated GIFs with sound (or Instagram with video)! So far, the 5.7MB free application is only available to owners of iPads and the iPhone 3GS and above, and it's optimized for the iPhone 5, according to Vine. There's no word on when the application will be available for Android users but we suspect it will be soon.Each video is limited to 6 seconds and loops continuously like an animated GIF.
@YourAnonNews, a public relations Twitter account used by members of Anonymous to relay hacktivist related news and information to hundreds of thousands of followers, was suspended by Twitter around 11:50 AM EST on Wednesday, December 19, 2012. A backup Twitter account, @YANBackUp, had been created by Anonymous just two weeks prior.
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are live-tweeting their attack on Hamas today. Tweets notifying the public of attacks and counterattacks, sometimes accompanied with pictures and video, have been coming from @IDFSpokesperson all day giving Twitterers a first-hand account of the attacks. This is how it began: "We recommend that no Hamas operatives, whether low level or senior leaders, show their faces above ground in the days ahead."
As if racing in NASCAR was not enough of an adrenaline rush, NASCAR racer Brad Keselowski can tweet while driving his race car. Brad Keselowski recently tweeted fans in the Daytona 500 prompting NASCAR to issue a new rule – no smartphones in the cars. Brad Keselowski tweeted during a race again last Sunday and NASCAR responded with a $25,000 fine. And what was his tweet? “Fire! My view” along with this picture.
Twitter had a rough week. First they sent out hundreds (thousands?) of emails to users requesting they change their Twitter password. First word was that the deluge of password reset emails was an accident on Twitter’s part. Then word leaked that the password reset was required because of a hack against Twitter. This was followed with another odd occurrence on Twitter - a bloody image relating to the September attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, began replacing all graphics in some users’ Twitter feeds – including some reported users who received “password reset” email from Twitter.
According to a recent report, Twitter is working to add photo filters to its upload service in an attempt to compete with Instagram (who is at 1 million users and growing). The update will be launched within the next few months. Right now, Instagram uploads are only available via IOS and Android (although rumors are that a web-based service could be in the works). Twitter on the other hand, could be at an advantage if it provides photo filtering services through its website interface in addition to its iOS and Android applications.