Feeds

Twitter bans security maven for sharing naughty link

"We scan evrythng"

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

A well known security researcher was banished from Twitter for more than two days for including the address of a malicious website in a two-month-old dispatch.

On Tuesday, Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer for anti-virus provider F-Secure, found his Twitter account suspended with no explanation. Every one of his tweets had been erased, and those trying to visit his page found a message that said: "Sorry, the account you were headed to has been suspended due to strange activity. Mosey along now, nothing to see here."

Hypponen said his messages to Twitter officials went unanswered, as, indeed those from The Register did as well.

On Friday, his account was reinstated, and around the same time, he received an explanation of sorts. It read:

I've unsuspended your acct.
You were suspended for using the malware URL rnyspeceDOTcom in DMs.
Be careful!
We scan evrythng for malware.

This link shows Hypponen making a reference to a MySpace phishing site on August 3 that read: "I guess somebody will fall for it... a desperate Myspace phishing site at www. rnyspece. com. (don't go there)."

No, it wasn't a direct message, and no, there was no malware involved with the site. And yes, the URL contained spaces to prevent the security challenged from accidentally visiting the site. Ironically, Hypponen happened to be among the first to discover Twitter's malware filter.

The incident highlights the fine line Twitter has to walk in policing its site. As The Reg and plenty of others have pointed out, the site has become a hot bed for come ons that try to trick people into visiting sites that steal their personal information or install malware. Twitter, with its millions of dollars in financing, has an obligation to filter out at least some of the garbage.

But if it hopes to be taken seriously, it can't indiscriminately banish users who legitimately include a suspicious looking phrase or link in a message, especially one that's two months old. Just ask Hypponen, who writes on his newly reinstated account: "This sucks."

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole
Update your gear now to avoid early attacks hitting the web
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.