Feeds

Dutch script kiddie pwns 20,000 Twitter profiles

How much do you have in common with the other lusers?

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

A Dutch teenager successfully hijacked 20,000 Twitter profiles to post a message dissing their owners for being slack with security.

Damien Reijnaers (@DamiaanR), 16, also induced his victims into tipping their hat to him for helping them to point out the error of their ways in the same update. He pulled off the trick by getting victims to sign up to a supposed profile comparison tool for daters called Pas jij bij mij? (Do you match with me?) ... Users who linked his app to their Twitter accounts were asked to grant the application permission to post updates.

The small print (as shown in Twitter's illustration of Twitpic's permissions screen) isn't even that small...

This ability was explained in the not-so-small print Twitter requires when users authorise a third-party application - something the victims apparently failed to heed, according to Dutch media reports. RTL Nieuws adds that Reijnaers previously uncovered a Facebook security flaw three years ago, aged only 13.

The update (example here), posted on Thursday morning, said:

Hoe slecht gaan mensen met hun twitter account om... groetjes, Damiaan Reijnaers. ‪@NUnl‬ ‪@telegraaf‬ ‪@tweakers‬ ‪@nos‬ ‪@geen_stijl‬ ‪@volkskrant‬

This translates to "How badly people manage their Twitter accounts... Regards, Damien Reijnaers."

A quick search reveals that several hundred Twitter profiles, at least, were induced to make the update.

The prank does illustrate a wider privacy problem in both social media and mobile apps. Many request permissions they don't strictly need to perform their core functionality and these permissions can be abused, threatening user privacy in the process.

This is a difficult problem to solve because users simply don't have the time to pore through the often verbose, complicated terms and conditions or term of use statements attached to applications. Simple summaries in plain English (or Dutch) may help, but many users are likely to ignore even these. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.